MENTAL HEALTH MONDAYS: Breathing Techniques That Really DO Work

Being able to calm yourself with breathing techniques can really help ease your mind and emotions. Many people don’t realize that they have the internal capacity to breathe through the feelings of stress and anxiety.

Emotions are valid responses to situations and controlling your breathing can help you cope with these emotions and keep them in-check.

There are many times in life when things feel out of control but figuring out a way to internally cope can be well within your abilities and can be an immediate way to relax and cut out the stress!

Don’t miss out on moments in life due to stress and anxiety. Instead of dreading certain situations, use these methods to work through them. Life is too short to stress over the circumstances and constantly feel as though you have to leave the scene.

The next time you’re feeling panicked or worried, give yourself time to calm yourself down with the following strategies:

  1. Count backward from 10. Do this slowly and calmly and take deep breaths as you’re counting backward. You’ll feel the stress dissipate, which will help you to clear your mind.
    • You can do this out loud, or in your head if you’re in a crowded area with a lot of people. There’s no right or wrong way to do this one.
  2. Take long, deep breaths. No counting, just breathing. Over and over again. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Feel the calmness take over.
    • This is a technique that many people do when they’re feeling stressed at home, work, or just in their car as they’re driving. It’s quite effective and simple. Take the breath in through the nose, then blow it out of your mouth for the most cleansing effect.
  3. Pace around and breathe. Pacing can be a great way to get control over your mind and your thoughts. Pair that up with some consistent and steady breaths and you’re going to have a good outcome and a clear mind.
    • If you’re at a place where you feel like you can’t pace, remove yourself from that location and go somewhere that you can.
    • A quick walk is optimal for this technique, too, so taking a stroll around the block is always a good idea.
  4. Count down from 100 and breathe through it. There are some situations that just require a longer countdown. And that’s okay. Those times are times of high stress or uncertainty and giving yourself more time is needed.
    • Start at 100 and count backward with your same slow breathing techniques as before.
    • You might have to get all the way to zero before you feel better or you may be able to stop and refocus somewhere in between.
  5. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Controlling your thoughts and emotions with breathing is possible and this method makes a lot of sense. It is more of an effort than the other types of breathing techniques, but it can work really well, too. Try to make it as even and gentle as possible. Place your hands on your diaphram and really FEEL the workings of your breathing.

You can always start with one type of method and then switch to a different one as well. Working through them is fine to get calmed down and focused.

Using these techniques can be an effective way to take charge of your emotional and mental worries. These breathing techniques can be a great way to push out the negativity and fears and open up your mind to calmness.

We all deal with stress on a daily basis, so being able to have your very own coping mechanisms gives you a handy way to alleviate those stressful thoughts and feelings.

Just because you’re feeling stressed in that moment doesn’t mean that it has to be your blueprint and path for the entire day. Use these breathing techniques as tools to get through the stressful moment, so you can move forward positively through the rest of your day.

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