We all breathe regularly. Oftentimes, we don’t even need to think about taking our next breath. While not thinking about our breath is pretty common, there are advantages to taking a few moments each day to focus on and change how we are breathing. Incorporating specific breathing techniques into your routine has been shown to help with everything from sleep to relaxation during stressful situations. The methods take no time at all to learn, incorporate, and start practicing -- so why not start now?

The Benefits of Breathing Exercises

Focusing on yourself and your well-being is essential for avoiding burnout in today’s busy world. Deep breathing can also be an essential tool in taking care of your mind and body during stressful times.

When we’re stressed, we tend to take shallow breaths without even realizing it. This constricts our oxygen flow, and sends our body signalsthat we are in danger and puts our systems into Fight or Flight mode -- ever wonder why your hearts race or hands get sweaty when you’re stressed? It’s because your body thinks that there is something wrong!

When you take a deep breath, your body’s danger responses stop and, instead, are forced to recognize and calm the frazzled nervous system. As we continue to breathe deeply, our body releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers that help further calm your body. When you regularly start to incorporate breathing exercises into your routine, you train your body to respond and react to stressful situations with increased levels of endorphins; which, in turn, make you feel calmer and collected in difficult situations.

How to Incorporate Breathing Techniques into Your Daily Routine

Easing into a new routine can be difficult, especially if you already feel like you do not have time to spare in your busy day. The great thing about breathing techniques, though, is that they don’t take long to do; just a few minutes out of your day can make a big difference. If you feel like you are forcing another thing into your schedule, maybe try and incorporate breathing techniques into other parts of your day like your nighttime ritual or while sitting at your desk.

Different Techniques to Try

Deep breathing is one technique that is easy to master and work into any routine. If you have the time, start by lying on your back with a pillow under your head and knees. If you can’t lie down, you can do this in a chair, too; just sit with your back straight against the chair and your head, shoulders, and neck supported.

You’ll want to start by breathing in through your nose, filling your belly with air. Next, breathe out through your nose, placing one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. You will instantly feel your belly rise and fall as you take three or four more breaths this way. As you focus on this movement of your belly, you will feel yourself relax and unwind with every breath.

Another technique for breathing is focusing your energy on a word, phrase, or picture. Close your eyes, and take deep breaths in and out. As you let out each breath, imagine every bit of tension or stress leaving your body. The word or phrase that you imagined in your head should be repeated in your mind as you inhale, and briefly forgotten as you exhale.

How to Handle Stress Through Breathing Exercises

Stress and pressure are issues that we all deal with in different ways. What you are feeling in your emotions can often surface in other ways, such as acne, emotional responses, stomachaches, and even fatigue. When you breathe deeply for just a few minutes a day, it regulates your mind and body, and it lets you think clearly. Practicing these techniques before you feel pressure will allow you to prepare the next time a stressful situation occurs.

Deep Breathing and Anxiety

In this day and age, anxiety is at an all-time high. There is a lot of pressure on people to perform at their best each day, no matter how they feel inside. Adding in a few extra minutes to use some deep breathing techniques can ultimately lower your anxiety and make you feel better. Next time you are feeling your anxiety mounting, take a few minutes to close your eyes, breathe in and out slowly, and you will feel a sense of relief and peace inside.

If you are experiencing panic attacks, then you need to take them seriously. While some deep breathing methods may assist in a panic attack, you should consult your doctor before starting to incorporate them, especially if you experience outward reactions, such as hives, shortness of breath, and passing out.

Deep breathing techniques are there to help promote well-being and instill a sense of peace inside and out. Adding these simple methods to your day-to-day routine can help you to calm down, deal with stress more effectively, and think more clearly. A deep breathing session does not have to be too long. It only takes minutes of your day, and the return on investing your time in you is priceless.

Author's Bio: 

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.