With increasing stressors and anxiety disorders, therapists, doctors, and traditional healers have developed practical and more accessible strategies to help us manage. The Breathing exercise has been proven as an efficient method to help people relax and stay calm amid chaos and panic attacks. The numerous advantages of the breathing exercise can be observed to have long-term and short-term benefits ranging from an instant feeling of relief decreased heart rates and reduced blood pressure. Breathing exercises are proven to be the body’s built-in stress reliever as it entails a simple respiratory process that incorporates time and serenity as its ingredients.
Mladen Golubic, a physician in the Cleveland clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine, says that “breathing can have a profound impact on an individual’s psychology and health.” Research from the University of Primorska also proved a positive relationship between breathing exercises and quality of life in adults.
Having seen the numerous advantages of breathing exercise, why not just breathe?
Here are some practical steps to help you through your breathing exercise;
- Get seated or lay comfortably. Your position must not restrict airflow, do not stay under the covers or in a poorly ventilated place.
- Try as much as possible to do this in a quiet environment
- Place your hand on your lower stomach and just below your ribs place your other hand on your chest
- Take in a deep breath through your nostrils; you should feel your hand push outward on your abdomen, your wardrobe shouldn’t move.
- Hold your breath for 3-5 seconds, then exhale from a pursed-lip
- Practice this exercise 3-10 times or for at least 3-5 minutes until you begin to feel a more regulated heartbeat with your other hand; these times can be extended to as long as you desire.
Another simple yet highly effective way to have a calm aura throughout the day is mindful meditation. Simply put, meditation refers to the act of engaging oneself with the contents of the mind. Individuals meditate on several different things such as mindfulness, spirituality, focus, metaphysical, and progressiveness. Mindfulness meditation is a critical and effective form of introspection. It is the art of meditating on the mind itself and the contents of one’s mind. Mindful meditation is the objective yet non-judgmental filtering of the random contents of one’s mind to bring us to a place of awareness and correction.
“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises when we non-judgmentally pay attention in the present moment. It cultivates access to core aspects of our minds and bodies that our very sanity depends on,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Research carried out by the Massachusetts General hospital study in 2013 showed that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program could rescue general anxiety Disorders GAD and may also improve an individual’s stress reactivity. The need for focused thinking and how it drives innovation is becoming even more critical in a world of increasing distractions; hence, mindfulness meditation practised over time can help the brain reduce distraction. Studies say that eight in 10 Americans experience stress in their daily lives and have a hard time relaxing their bodies and calming their minds, putting them at high risk of heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses. Of the myriad offerings aimed at fighting stress, from exercise to yoga to meditation, mindfulness meditation has become the hottest commodity in the wellness universe.
The Harvard study conducted an 8-week mental training program and results proves that those who completed the mindfulness meditation training made a faster and better decision and showed significant attention-based adjustments.
Here are a few steps that can help you go through your mindfulness meditation process;
- Choose an appropriate environment -this is probably the most crucial component of mindfulness meditation. Be sure to be in a comfortable and serene environment.
- Get comfortable. You will probably be in the same posture for some time; therefore, you must be very comfortable.
- Set aside some time as mindful meditation cannot be rushed into nor rushed out of. It is best to incorporate it into your daily routine, say 8:30-9:00 pm.
- Take deep breaths, pay attention to the pace of your breathing and try to have a more regulating rhythm.
- Settle into your mind. Thoughts of the past and future may sway in and out of your mind
- but it’s important to return to the present.
- As you meditate, have a recap of your day, consider the highlights of your day, what pricked a nerve, what made you simple, how did you respond to certain things?
In all of your meditating processes, realize that you are not your thoughts. Thoughts are nothing but passing clouds and there is nothing you should take personally about them. The aim of this process is non-judgmental and to bring you to a place of observation for learning and correction.
While the breathing exercise and the Mindful meditation processes are similar and targeted at stress and anxiety management, we must recognize that the former employs breathing as its tool while the latter uses the mind. More importantly, we should use these remedies for they are essential for keeping calm amid chaos.