Tip #9: Breathwork
If you are unfamiliar with it, breathwork is any type of breathing exercises or breathing techniques. Breathwork helps to improve your physical, mental and spiritual state of mind. Controlled breathing has been said to help reduce stress and increase alertness. When you are stressed it affects your entire body from your brain down to your gut. Stress triggers many different things in your body, taking time to slow down will help your stress levels decrease.
Two types of breathwork you can try out: box breathing and pursed lip breathing.
Box breathing is when you slowly inhale counting to four. Hold your breath for four seconds then exhale for four seconds. Focus on filling your lungs up with air and then releasing. You should find a quiet space, sitting upright in a chair and feet flat on the floor.
Pursed lip breathing can be done sitting with a straight back while relaxing your shoulders or laying down. Inhale for two seconds while feeling the air move to your abdomen, not just your lungs. Then pursue your lips like you are blowing on hot food and exhale for four seconds. You always want to exhale for twice as long as you inhaled. Over time you can increase your inhale time.
Physical benefits: Physical benefits seem to happen immediately. When you sit back and take deep inhales and exhales this will activate your parasympathetic nervous system. This slows your heart rate down and lowers your blood pressure.
When you are under a lot of stress your body releases specific hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which makes your breathing speed up. This then increases your pulse and blood pressure. Breathwork can help reverse this and help relax your body.
Mental benefits: Breathwork helps you reach a deeper state of mind. It can help you reach the emotions that have been buried in your mind. Feel the emotions that come up when you are taking deep breaths.Try it out! Inhale. Exhale.