The last year has been difficult, and serious stress has touched all of us. Stress and anxiety can manifest in ways that are bad news for our health.
You might have irritability or fatigue. Sometimes you might feel wound up or on edge, or maybe you have a lot of muscle tension. You might experience restlessness or have trouble sleeping.
There are great natural supplements like Ashwagandha that can help with stress, but did you know that there’s a surprising, easy remedy to help you immediately lower your stress and anxiety?
Breathing for Anxiety Relief
Deep breathing is one of the most effective tools for reducing anxiety. Proper deep-breathing techniques are very effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety and the body’s level of the stress hormone, cortisol. Not only that, deep breathing can lower your blood pressure, relax your muscles, and decrease your heart rate.
One study found that children who did a few minutes of deep breathing before a test reported much lower feelings of anxiety. They also ended up performing better on the test than did their counterparts who didn’t do the breathing exercise.
Having an easy-to-remember breathing technique in your pocket will help you the next time your anxiety starts to creep in. Ready to learn one?
“Double” Deep-breathing Exercise
Start with a big exhale to clear your lungs. You can remember to exhale first because E (exhale) comes before I (inhale) in the alphabet. Exhaling is most important for stress reduction because it is linked with the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which controls our ability to relax and calm down. If it helps you focus, go ahead and close your eyes, but you don’t have to.
When your lungs are empty, inhale through your nose for 3 seconds, letting your belly expand and keeping your chest still (some people call this belly or diaphragmatic breathing). Then exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds, making sure to get all the air out before you inhale again.
If you want to increase your inhalation or exhalation time just follow the double rule: however long you inhale, exhale double the amount.
Repeat this cycle for 2-5 minutes and you should see a significant reduction in your stress. You might even start to feel energized and on the road to well-being.
For Even Better Results, Make it a Routine
Starting your morning with an anxiety-prevention routine may help get your day off to a calm start. Before you leave the house, take 5 minutes to practice your “double” deep breathing.
Then, add in a powerful supplement like ashwagandha, which can also boost your body’s ability to manage anxiety throughout the day.
In the nighttime, another session of deep breathing can help you unwind from the stresses of the day, especially when paired with natural products like a nice warm cup of passionflower tea.
We’re all trying to surface from a very difficult stretch of time, but as you practice deep breathing, you will feel more settled and ready to take on each day’s problems.
Let’s stay healthier, together,
Your friends at Santo Remedio