breathing

Mental Health and Stress Strategy 1: Breathing

This year we are looking at mental health and stress, how they are related and ways to help manage it. The first strategy is breathing!

Now that you know that mental health and stress are very related and have more info about stress; it’s time for the fun. Let’s dive into different ways to help you lessen the stress and hopefully increase your time of being deression free. Our first strategy is breathing!

BREATHING

As I have started to get more informed about breathing I am realizing there is a lot to it. And that there is not a lot to it. I’m going to keep it really simple. Beacuase simple is good! πŸ™‚

Have you ever felt yourself getting worked up inside? Or have you had a good cry? At the end of that cry or getting worked up your body takes a bigger breath. Your body is trying to calm itself down. And guess what, it can work.

Anxiety Attacks and Breathing

When I have an anxitey attack there is pretty much one way to calm myself down. It’s breathing, taking deep breaths. It is hard and ugly. Most of the time I am crying and panicing. When this happens I am usually thinking about what is bothering me.

This makes me cry more and hyperventilate more. At this point I know that I need to do some deep breathing in order to calm down. It is a very physical experience. I take a breath in and let out the air with my mouth open, spit flying… haha. My breaths in are quivering, making it hard to get enough air in. And they are loud, some weird noises escape my mouth at times.

After some crazy breaths I am able to start regulating my breathing. Which helps me to start calming down. One time Eddy came in our room because he heard the weird noises and thought something was wrong. Something was wrong but not what he thought.

If I wasn’t able to start breathing I’m not sure what would help me stop the anixety attacks when they come.

Why Breathing Helps

Breathing is something we do automatically. But conscious breathing is different. So why is conscious breathing important? For one it can help you stay in the moment. Staying in the moment can help you keep your thoughts from going wild, which can create or intensify stress. When you stay in the moment it will help your thoughts also stay in the moment.

When you are stressed you can keep negative energy stored in your body, When this happens it can create nagative physical outcomes. If you have conscious breathing it can help relase the negative energy. Who wants to store negative energy in your body? Not me!

Conscious breathing is one of the easiest ways to bring your body back to “normal” when you are stressed, anxious, or flipping out. So let’s get into a few of my favorite breathing techniques.

Breathing Techniques

Here’s the deal, I am not an expert or educated in this stuff. I am a person who has found that breathing has helped me in my life. And in the life of my family. I am sure there are techincal names for the following breathing techniques. But the names I am giving them are what I call them in my house and with my kids.

Slow Breath

Slow breathing is just like it sounds. Slowing your breath down. Many times when I’m stressed I can feel my breathing getting faster. When this happens you need to try to slow your breath down. It make take a minute or you may be able to do it in a single breath.

Focus on your breath and when you inhale try to make it slower. For me, it is easier to start a new type of breathing on my inhale. Play around to see what’s easier for you; inhale or exhale.

Keep your breath slow until you can feel your body releasing tension, stress, anger, or whatever negative feeling it’s holding inside.

When you slow breath you can keep your mouth closed or open with your inhale and exhale. It’s up to you. It is also your choice if you want to create sound when you are slow breathing. It also helps me to close my eyes when I start to slow breath and try to visualize something calming.

Deep Breath

Deep breathing is similar to slow breathing but you take a breath that is deeper. You can do sallow breaths with slow breaths. With deep breaths you want to try to get air that’s deep inside of you. As you do this you will automatically take a slower breath.

Then, when you release your breath, really release allll of your air. When you take a deep breath in and relase the air you want to keep it steady and slow. Again, it’s up to you if you want to have your mouth open or closed. And if you want to have sound accomanpy your breath.

Hold Breath

Okay, so this is not what I call this breath, but I am going to start with my kids. πŸ™‚ Start by taking a long, slow breath in (mouth open or closed, sound or no sound). When you get to the top (not able to breath in any more), hold your breath. Then you release the breath. Repeat.

Tips

  • If breathing is new to you then you may want to start with slow breathing. Then move onto deep breathing and lastly try holding breath.
  • Practice! You don’t want to start doing these when you are in the middle of stressful moment. Practice before. Maybe practice first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. Then when you come to a stressful situation you will be able to use one of these breathing strageties and be successful with them.
  • Do these with your family. If your kids can do any of these breath strategies it will also help them with many hard situations as well.

I am excited to see how these breathing strategies help you in any stressful or crazy times. Drop a comment if you already use your breath and see the beneifts of it.

Xxx, Steph

If you don’t follow me on Instragram, you should! This week I will be showing you these three breathing strategies. πŸ™‚

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