As part of our campaign for mental health awareness, we’ve received a few wellbeing tips from Claire Nutt at The Birth and Wellbeing Partnership and Ruth Jackson from Bluebell Care. Through this short blog, we’d like to share with you some simple, yet highly effective breathing techniques we learned to help you reduce your stress, or anxiety which might be affecting you. These techniques can help you with any experience, whether you’re trying to relax ahead of your exams, giving birth or if you just feel like you need to relax.
Can Breathing Exercises Actually Help?
You may be pessimistic about something as simple as breathing properly, but it is something which can really help your state of mind. As Claire Nutt, midwife and owner of The Birth and Wellbeing charity said:
“It’s something that some people might be dubious about, but I highly recommend that everyone learns these breathing techniques, as we all experience times in our lives when we need to take a few minutes out to calm ourselves and relax. It really can help!”
3 Helpful Techniques Everyone Should Try
As recommended to us, here are three simple techniques everyone should try. More breathing techniques were originally recommended on anxieties.com.
1. Natural Breathing
• Gently and slowly inhale a normal amount of air through your nose, filling only your lower lungs. (Your stomach will expand while your upper chest remains still.)
• Exhale slowly through your nose.
• Continue this gentle breathing pattern with a relaxed attitude, concentrating on filling only the lower lungs.
2. Calming Breath
• Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs.
• Hold your breath to the count of “three.”
• Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.
3. Calming Counts
• Sit comfortably.
• Take a long, deep breath and exhale it slowly while saying the word “relax” silently.
• Close your eyes.
• Let yourself take ten natural, easy breaths. Count down with each exhale, starting with “ten.”
• This time, while you are breathing comfortably, notice any tensions, perhaps in your jaw or forehead or stomach. Imagine those tensions loosening.
• When you reach “one,” open your eyes again.
How do Breathing Exercises Help?
According to anxieties.com, breathing patterns can easily change in an emergency or emotional moment. The website states:
“Instead of breathing slowly from our lower lungs, we breathe rapidly and superficially from our upper lungs. This can lead to hyperventilation which can in turn lead to:
• Nausea and dizziness
• Shortness of breath
• A lump in your throat
• Tingling/numbness in hands or feet”