Take a deep breath

Now we will discuss how one of the simplest solution to stress is breathing. We can do this together!

Before we begin, take a deep breath and let it out. Deep breathing is one of the easiest, simplest and best ways to lower stress levels in our bodies.

When we are stressed or we’re in a state of emergency, the way we breathe changes. Suddenly, instead of breathing in and out slowly like we normally do, we start to breathe rapidly - as if we were running. When we breathe fast without doing something physical like running or walking fast, we might be “hyperventilating” or panicking because of stress. This can make us dizzy, confused and anxious.

Do you panic and start breathing rapidly? Simple breathing exercises can help you. When we breathe slowly and deeply, our body tells our brain to relax.

How to do breathing exercises?

  • Choose a comfortable, airy and calm place to do this.

  • Wear something loose and comfy like pajamas.

  • Try doing this at once or twice every day.

  • Close your eyes and focus on a calm scenario. This could be a happy memory or a phrase that calms you.

  • Begin with a few deep breaths - try breathing from your abdomen - you can place your hand on your abdomen to feel the air fill you and then leave when you breathe out.

  • Slowly, start taking slower breaths and imagine that each breath is full of calm and peace.

  • Count 1, 2, 3 before you breathe out.

  • Imagine each breath leaving your body is taking away the tension and stress that you are feeling.

  • Do this for 10-15 minutes at a stretch.

Some tips

  • If you want, play some light instrumental music that will help you calm down.

  • You can also use scented candles or spray some of your favourite perfume before beginning - this will make it a luxury experience.

  • If possible, do this somewhere with natural light.

These are only some tips from us! There are many other breathing exercises available on the internet. You can follow any of them that feels doable to you.

Ready? Take a deep breath and let it out! Don’t worry if you cannot concentrate on these exercises from the very first day. Give yourself time - you are doing something new and it is perfectly okay to slowly get used to it.

REMEMBER: Deep breathing can instantly make you feel better.

ACTION: Practice deep breathing before going to bed tonight. You can do this sitting on your bed.

NEXT: We’ll look at how making some minor changes to our sleeping habits can make us feel better.