“While we breathe, we will hope.”
– Barack Obama
Following on from my first post; I thought it would be great to highlight breathing techniques in order to relax.
All you need is your lungs and a few moments to focus on your chosen technique. You do not have to be in a relaxing environment. For in a way, it is good to test your superpowers to relax; anywhere in this sometime restless world.
Try these techniques anywhere to see how they work for you:
1. Diaphragmatic breathing. Also known as abdominal or belly breathing.
This is one of the most beneficial breathing techniques. It lowers heart rate and blood pressure; as well as increasing strength in your diaphragm and stamina for exercise. Importantly, it can reduce symptoms of many stress and anxiety disorders.
How to breathe to do diaphragmatic breathing:
– Try to sit or lay down and loosen tight clothes.
– Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
– Breathe in through your nose whilst feeling your stomach expand; as your chest stays still.
– Purse your lips, whilst gently pressing on your stomach. Now exhale slowly through the mouth.
– Repeat several times for best effect.
Breathing is part of your automatic nervous system; which controls several functions such as blood pressure without you needing to think about it. The ‘fight or flight’ response is also controlled by this nervous system; so by breathing deeply you can easily deal with issues and then return to a relaxed state.
2. Breathe Focus Technique
This involves using a keyword of your choosing; whilst you focus on your breathing to help you relax.
– Sit or lie down in a comfortable place.
– Without changing your breathing become aware of your breath both in and out. Now alternate between normal and deeper breathing and notice how this affects you. Then begin deep diaphragmatic breathing.
– Place a hand on your belly button and notice how it rises and falls with each breath. With every exhale; let out a sigh.
– Now combine your deep breathing with imagery and keywords that will help you relax.
– Imagine each new breath in brings more calm and happy thoughts. Your world and your body is becoming more and more relaxed.
– Then each time you exhale; imagine: all your strains and stresses are leaving your body.
Try to do this for at least twenty minutes if you can keep track of time!
3. Alternate nostril breathing
This technique is for relaxation; yet it has been known to enhance cardiovascular function and lower heart rate.
Obviously, you will need the use of both nostrils; so avoid if you are congested or ill. Also it is best practised on a empty stomach.
– Sit or lie down.
– Raise your hand to your face and after exhaling place your thumb over your right nostril.
– After you have breathed in through your left nostril; close your left nostril with your forefinger and breathe out through your right nostril.
– Continue doing this for at least five minutes.
4. Equal Breathing
This means making the length of each inhale and exhale of breath the same length. This will help make your breathing smoother and hopefully make you more balanced and relaxed.
– Find a comfortable seat; and begin by gently breathing in and out through your nostrils.
– When you have relaxed and began focusing on your breathing; make each inhale and exhale the same length by counting in your head. Count to what ever number is comfortable for you.
– If you prefer, you can pause between each inhale and exhale.
So there are a few techniques, I have learned myself; which I try to include in my daily routine. Read up on the subject yourself; try what suits you. Enjoy relaxation techniques and do not worry too much about following techniques too closely.
The most important thing is to relax.
“Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret of life.” — Gregory Maguire. This is the first post on my new blog. It is also the most basic, easiest and quickest way to relax. If you read only one of my blogs, if you remember only one thing, only one word; then let “breathe”… Read more
A moon walk under the setting sun, to climb the green hills of home; then greet the Full Strawberry Moon of July. Inspiration for the moon walk You do not need to be an astronaut to do a moon walk. Being happiest and most relaxed whilst out in nature; I came to realise I was… Read more
A long term review of the Northwave Origin mountain bike shoe The need for a mountain bike shoe If you are new to cross country mountain biking; you will have come to realise that you need the stiff sole of a road cycling shoe but the ability to walk maybe long distances over unrideable terrain.… Read more
The concept of ‘forest bathing’ or ‘shinrin-yoku‘; is literally walking into a forest, to open and submerse all your senses in nature. Forest bathing or ‘Shinrin-yoku’ A great way to relax, is to simply go for a walk in the woods. This has been given the term: ‘forest bathing’; because you are literally submerged in… Read more
When we are with people we can trust; we feel relaxed. Deciding who to trust and to what extent is a lifelong art. The importance and need to trust David DeSteno, states in his brilliant book: The Truth About Trust: “the need to trust implies one fundamental fact: you’re vulnerable.” A baby has no choice… Read more
Routes to Relax whilst being housebound during the current world pandemic So a deadly virus has surprised us all and spread across the world at an astonishing speed. Many of us worry about jobs and money, restrictions on socialising and the great outdoors has been fenced in. Yet we must all count ourselves lucky to… Read more
Ten channels to watch on YouTube to help you unwind and relax in this age of high speed internet and social media 1. Modern relaxation music An obvious choice is relaxing background music. With the aid of computers and vast music libraries; there is now an almost endless supply of electronic based relaxation music. One… Read more
Keeping relaxed and happy through a long cold winter Refreshing routes to relax The merriness of Christmas is gone now, only the bill remains; the winter solstice has gone but the nights are still long; the sun also rises but we keep spinning silently away from it!Yet do not despair; there is a route to… Read more
A few ideas to stay relaxed whilst on the road. A great cause of stress in day to day life can come about whilst driving a car. Most of us have to drive in order to get to work and be with family and friends. Yet this necessary activity does not need to be a… Read more
‘You are what you eat’ as the saying goes; so if you want to eat and relax, then check out these ten foods that can help. Believe it or not; our moods, feelings and ability to stay calm are all affected by the food that we consume. There are times when you need more calories… Read more
A summary of footwear options for the winter cyclist; with a review of Northwave GTX mountain bike boots Being able to stay warm on a cold day is so important for our well-being. In extreme situations, we can damage our extremities or weaken our immune system; which open us up to all kinds of infections.… Read more