The holidays can be a time of stress and anxiety. Below are three breathing techniques that can help you and your clients and patients deal with these issues by cultivating energy, reducing stress, and restoring focus.
Ever feel nervous or anxious before a big trip or having to clean the house before the guests arrive? A great way to calm down is by focusing on your breath through whisper breathing.
To try it, close your mouth and start taking breaths through your nostrils. As you exhale through your nostrils, contract the back of your throat as if you are making an ahhhh sound. Do this for a few breaths to start to feel more relaxed.
Whisper breathing is quite enough to be used in your own space without other family members knowing you are feeling anxious.
Be it an impending deadline or the last stretch to finish holiday shopping, there are lots situations that can trigger our stress levels. A great breathing technique to help you reconnect with the present moment is the 7-11 breath.
No, the 7-11 breath has nothing to do with Beyoncé or slurpees. It does have to do with slowing down your breathing and reducing your stress. You can do this exercise at any point during the day whenever you feel the need. Inhale for a count of 7, hold your breath for a bit, then exhale for a count of 11. It’s that easy!
This technique helps you slow down your breathing and enter a more relaxed state. Try it when you feel your anxiety starting to rise.
Combat Tactical Breath
Not many people know that even the United States Military teaches their soldiers breathing techniques to help them focus during times of high stress. Imagine having to deal with a hurt colleague or trying to problem solve under gun fire. These intense moments of stress need to be met with calm and controlled focus.
To help soldiers achieve this level of mental precision, the military teaches combat tactical breath, or 4-4-4 breathing. This is another easy technique that can be practiced anywhere, thus making it a great exercise to use during your work day. Inhale for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 4, and exhale for a count of 4.
When you feel you are losing focus, take a break from what you’re doing and try this exercise for at least 2 minutes. When you return to the task at hand, your focus should be sharp and ready to tackle the rest of your day!
- 7-11 breath by Christopher Willard, Audio, inside the Spire app.
- Navy Medicine – Combat Tactical Breathing
- The Chopra Center – Ujjayi Breath Technique