3 breathing exercises to counter stress | Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau

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3 breathing exercises to counter stress

To reduce and tame stress on a daily basis, many solutions are available today. From meditation to hypnosis to yoga, there is a technique for everyone.

Let’s start with the basics: our breathing.

Here are 3 breathing exercises to help you deal with stress effectively.

Abdominal breathing

Generally, we do not breathe with the diaphragm, but from the chest.
During times of stress, we don’t breathe enough oxygen into our lungs, which can cause shortness of breath. By practicing abdominal breathing, we integrate more oxygen into our lungs.

Sit with your back straight and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Inhale through the nose. The hand on your stomach will go up and the one on your chest will hardly move. Now breathe out slowly, bringing out as much air as possible while contracting your abs. The hand on your stomach will move when you breathe out, while the other will stay almost still. Continue 10 breaths to ease tension.

Alternate breathing

Alternate breathing is to purify our inner energies by learning to breathe through one nostril after another.

Start by plugging the left nostril with your ring finger and exhale from the right nostril. Inhale from the same nostril, plug it with your thumb, then exhale from the left. Start again by inhaling from the left nostril, seal it with the ring finger then exhale from the right… And so on, for a minute. End the exercise by slowly exhaling through both nostrils.

Cardiac coherence

Our hearts start beating faster when we are experiencing stress. The speed of our heartbeat also has a power on our brain and can influence our emotions. Our breathing, can thus control the speed of our heart rate.

Start with 6 breaths per minute (inhale for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds), for 5 minutes. This can be practiced 3 times a day, in a sitting position with your back straight. By breathing six times a minute, we are almost certain to achieve this steady state of cardiac coherence. It is not the only method, but it remains the simplest, since it is a respiratory rate common to all, a physiological constant specific to humans.

It’s time to put your lungs to work!

*Sources: Passeport Santé, Madame Le Figaro et Canal Vie