Thursday, 9 February 2012

Breathing Exercises & Meditations For Stress |

Breathing Exercises & Meditations for Stress Photo Credit yoga businesswoman image by Pavel Losevsky from

Stress can take a toll on the body, causing mental fatigue, lowered immune response and muscular tension. In the fast-paced world, it may seem like you lack the time to recover from all of life's pressures, but research at the Mayo Clinic suggests meditation and breathing exercises can restore your inner peace in a matter of minutes. So find the time to cool down before you burn out.

Abdominal Breathing

The American Medical Student Association recommends engaging in abdominal breathing exercises to improve blood flow, strengthen the lungs and relax the mind. To do so, hold one hand to your chest and place the other on your lower abdomen. Inhale a long, deep breath through your nostrils as though you were ingesting the room, keep it inside for up to seven seconds and then release it slowly through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat the cycle about four more times to maximize the effects. The AMSA encourages you to exhale longer than you inhale to increase respiratory benefits.

Guided Meditation

Meditation helps you to better navigate stressful situations, improve self-awareness and reduce your stress levels, according to research at the Mayo Clinic. Guided meditation is one form of meditative exercise. To start, as with all forms of meditation, find a quiet place and a comfortable body position. Although you can perform the techniques at work, or while on the go, you will need total clarity to fully appreciate the meditative experience. Once you have situated yourself, begin by relaxing your breathing and focusing your attention on something nonessential--it can be a dot on the wall, an image of the beach or an idea like, "Relax." While most meditative practices stop here, guided meditation moves on to enrapturing the image. That means you hear the sounds of the ocean, feel the warm sand beneath your feet and smell the soft perfumes of lotion on your skin. As you allow yourself to drift into the fantasy, you should find your daily stresses moving further away, sending you on a mental vacation that you may not have time for amidst your busy schedule.

Combining Deep Breathing & Meditation

Combining the two stress reduction activities into one will help you maximize the benefits of both. Again, find yourself a calm and quiet place and settle into a relaxed position. Perhaps a spot in the park, at the beach or by a lake may work best for you. Then begin inhaling deeply through your nose, holding that breath and exhaling it through your mouth. As you do so, concentrate on the air, on peace and on happiness. According to, meditative practices should involve no conscious effort, so only engage in the exercises that come naturally to you and repeat them as needed.


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