· By Tara Tyrrell
Breathing Exercises To Help Calm & Soothe
When life gets difficult and the workdays drag on, it's essential you take a minute and breathe. It sounds simple, but when it feels like the world is coming down around you, the simple act of breathing can sound like a monumental task. That's why it's important to slow yourself down and take that time.
Let’s say you’re at work as a cleaner. It can be difficult to take a break if you're at work, as the work never seems to stop, particularly if you have multiple clients throughout the day. But if you're working with potentially hazardous chemicals while cleaning, it's even more important that you take some time out and get some fresh air in the lungs.
The “need to breathe” doesn’t have to be about work, though. Life can be stressful in general. Whatever it is, here are some breathing exercises to help calm you down.
A Walk in Nature
If you're having a bad day, one of the best things you can do for your mind and body is to get outside. A half-hour walk in nature is one of the best ways to decrease cortisol: your body's stress hormone. It promotes breathing, exercise, decreases muscle tension and increases oxygenation and brain activity. Taking the time to take a walk on the wild side will get your heart rate up and categorically calm your nervous system down.
Four Second Breathing Intervals
Another technique is to breathe for four seconds in, exhale for four seconds (counting in your head), for four minutes at a time. This deep breathing exercise increases oxygen to the brain and blood and slows down your heart rate. This helps to calm down your body if you're having an anxious moment.
One other exercise to reduce anxiety is otherwise known as diaphragmatic breathing. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand beneath your ribcage, on your belly. Breathe slowly in through your nose and hold for a second before breathing out through slightly pursed lips. This introduces a great deal of oxygen into your bloodstream and slows your heart rate.
Deep Breath of Fresh Air
If you have a typical indoor job or you’re at home most of the day, you're probably breathing in recycled air for much of the day. This isn't good for your lungs. You're going to want to introduce as much fresh air as possible. This is particularly the case if you’re cleaning. Even though your cleaning supplies might not be harmful to you, such as those over at CleanHQ, breathing in large amounts of any chemical cleaner over a prolonged period will cause some damage to your lungs. Make sure you crack open a window before you start cleaning and allow fresh air to flow through the space you're cleaning.
It doesn’t matter why you feel the need to take a moment out to yourself to do some breathing exercises; it just matters that you do this often. So take a moment to stop, sit back or head on a walk, take a deep breath and smell the roses!