Last week I told you about just how important breathing is, then I gave you some examples of what it can help and a little exercise to try… Did you do it? If not go back and have a look here… This week I’m going to give you some more exercises, but for specific problems. Everyone has their own techniques and ways of breathing to help, but these are some that we have found helpful for these situations… Here goes!
If you’re feeling stress, anxiety, agitated, close your eyes (if you are in a situation where you can) or look at a fixed point and take a moment to just breathe normally two or three times, then breathe in through your nose for 3 counts, hold your breathe for 4 counts and breathe out for 5 counts. Focus on your breathing and visualise what you are doing. Do this 10-15 times then up the counts by one and do it 5-10 times. This will help you get rid toxins from the body and improve the circulation of oxygen which will nourish the muscles and help clear the mind. Enjoy the mental silence and then go back to what you were doing but with a calm and fresh outlook. If you’re feeling down, sit down with your back and head straight, arms and hands relaxed on your shoulders and face relaxed. Breathe in through your nose, this breath needs to be slightly deeper than a usual ‘nose’ breath, hold it for a few seconds and then breath out through your nose but whilst constricting the muscles in the back of your throat to make a noise. If you need to practice the noise then do so by opening your mouth and exhaling with a gentle ‘HAAAAH’ sound (your breath makes this sound, not your voice) like when you breathe on a DVD to clean it… try this a couple of times and when you have it seal your lips again and do it though the nose. Focus on the positive things in your life as you inhale, like you’re welcoming them in, and the negative things as you exhale, like you’re getting rid of them.
If you’re struggling to sleep, sit on your bed with your head straight, jaw and tongue relaxed. Take a deep breath in through the nose and then breathe out through the nose. When you breathe in this time, block one nostril so the air is just coming through one for 5 counts. Now block both nostrils, hold it for 5 counts then unblock the same nostril that was unblocked when you inhaled, and exhale for 5 counts. Continue this 10-20 times. To add to the benefits, when you are inhaling imagine the pure fresh air that is entering your body and then imagine it moving around the body when you are holding your breath. As you breathe out, imagine all the cares and worries from the day leaving your mind and body. This will help ease mental agitation and ease the process of falling to sleep.
If you’re struggling to get back to sleep stay lying in bed, block one nostril, inhale for 4 counts, hold for one and exhale for 4. Then block the other nostril and repeat 10-20 times. Doing this you can also place your left hand on your side where the spleen is and focus your attention on the energy of the breath heading to the spleen as your inhale and it leaving as you exhale. Now you have the technique, try it out and let us know how you get on.