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Breath Work for Relaxation

Get overwhelmed and anxious?

Because, same. Feelings of overwhelm and anxiety can come up in many different situations and be brought on by a variety of things, however, sometimes it comes up at the worst possible time. Before an interview, driving down the freeway, when you're about to give a presentation or speech. These are fairly inopportune times to have an anxiety attack or become overwhelmed.

How do you combat these? The idea isn't always to fight it but instead to manage it properly and effectively. One of the best and most effective tools I have is breath work. It's simple, easy and can be done just about anywhere. This makes it a great go-to tool no matter where you are or the situation.

Breath work doesn't need to be reserved solely for when you are having an anxiety attack. It's something I use on a daily basis to manage my overall levels of stress and to promote relaxation. I practice breath work everyday and when I'm having an episode. There are three main types of breath work that I use the most...

Square Breathing

Like a square, square breathing comes in 4's. It's probably the most simple of all of the techniques I use as it follows a very simple pattern, 4-4-4-4. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, breathe out for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts and repeat.

Progressive Relaxation

This type of breathing is great to do right before bed, I've found that it can even put me to sleep when done correctly. The idea here is to literally let your mind, heart and body relax progressively. You do that by breathing out longer than you breathe in. I recommend finding the right counts for you but start by breathing in for 3 and out for 5. Repeat and let the air flow out of you feeling your body relax with each exhale.

Opposite Nostril Breathing

Opposite nostril is my favorite type of relaxation breathing to use if I am out in public or traveling as it works very well and it draws my focus wholly to breathing because it requires concentration. I would not recommend using this technique to fall asleep. You are going to plug one nostril with your thumb, breathe in through the other nostril, plug the nostril you just breathed in through with your pointer finger while releasing the other nostril and breathe out. Now, without switching, breathe in, then rotate your hands again.

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