Your day is going crazy, your to-do list is a mile long, the phone won’t stop ringing, and you’re tired because you were up late the night before laying bed unable to sleep since your mind was racing…Sound familiar?
Everyone has moments in their life where the mind just can’t seem to settle down. It makes it hard to get anything done because you can’t stop thinking and worrying about what’s to come!
Thankfully, mastering a few mindful breathing techniques can bring you from a 10(!) back down to a level where you can sit back and say, “Ahhhh….” before going on with your day peacefully.
Here are instructions for 3 breathing exercises that can help you to relax in 10 minutes or less:
1. Abdominal Breathing – Place one hand on the chest and the other on your belly. Start taking deep breaths while using your hands to gauge that your breathe is inflating the belly, not the chest. Do this for 10 minutes per day, aiming for 6-10 breaths per minute. This technique works best to get calm and centered before a stressful event, like a speaking event or big meeting.
2. Equal Breathing – this breathing exercise brings balance and focus to the mind and body. Inhale slowly for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four. Sitting in this practice for even 5-10 minutes has a huge impact–you’ll be surprised at how much it quiets the mind and puts you in a state of rest. This breathing technique is especially useful for bedtime when you are having a hard time sleeping since it takes your mind off the racing thooughts that are distracting you from sleep.
Advanced tip: After some practice, try increase the number of counts per breath to slow yourself down even more.
3. Alternate Nostril Breathing – try this exercise for calm and balance. Sitting comfortably, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale through the left. At the peak of the inhale, switch to covering the left nostril with the right ring finger and exhale through the right nostril. Continue this pattern for 10 minutes or longer. This practice works best in times where you need to be focused and energized. It will leave you feeling more awake and ready to tackle whatever the day gives you.
Now that you’ve learned these easy ways to quickly relax through deep breathing, keep them in your pocket as a handy tool for when your day gets to be a little too much 🙂
Do you have a favorite relaxation technique that you use or teach your patients/clients? Comment below and share!