How often do you pay attention to your breath? With the pace of modern life, it’s easy to forget that you have to breathe at all (good thing your body does it automatically for you!). Balancing work, life, home, family, friends, it seems the list never ends. This frantic, energy-sucking way of living can leave you feeling depleted.
That is until intentional breath comes in. Active, controlled, or positive breathwork is a great tool to combat the stress and anxiety that accompany life. Being able to zoom in and focus on your body’s natural breathing can aid you in numerous ways. Several benefits include lower blood pressure, more energy, clarity, and strong feelings of being centered and calm.
Three approaches we recommend for self-soothing include:
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
This type of breathwork involves engaging your diaphragm. To do so, place one hand on your lower belly and the other hand on your chest. Breathe in and out deeply. You want to try and focus on moving the lower hand during both the inward and outward breath. Take a moment and inhale and exhale ten times doing so.
- Nostril Breathing
Most individuals that know this type of breathing do so from yoga class. In this breath activity, you want to plug one nostril with your thumb while taking a deep inhale through the opposite nostril. On the exhale, change your thumb to your other nostril and let your breath out. Continue this pattern of alternating nostrils while taking in deep breaths.
- Breathing for Balance
Last but not least, work toward paying attention to your natural breath by drawing in a slow, deep breath to the count of five. Then reverse for an exhale while repeating the duration of five. This is a great exercise to perform when you are feeling overwhelmed as it can calm your central nervous system and help restore a sense of inner peace.