Controlled Breathing for Stress Management
When you feel stress levels soaring, controlled breathing exercises can help provide a relaxation response. The following exercise can be done for as little as three to five minutes at a time and is an effective way to halt escalating feelings of anger, tension and frustration.
1. Sit upright in a comfortable position.
2. Focus on your present state and existence, close your eyes, block out intrusive thoughts (this is often termed being “mindful”).
3. Pay attention to your breathing. Inhale slowly through the nose, taking several seconds.
4. Exhale through the mouth, trying to make the exhalation last twice as long as the inhalation.
5. Continue this for three to five minutes.
If you like, you can extend the practice to 15-20 minutes per day. With regular practice, you can train your body to relax in stressful situations by using this exercise.