Reduce Stress and Anxiety with Meditation and Breathing Exercises
What is mediation? Meditation is an ancient wellness practice that focuses on training awareness, attention and compassion. Research has found meditation to be helpful to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and concentration and increase feelings of calm and relaxation.
What are breathing exercises? Breathing exercises effect your whole body by supplying oxygen to the brain and organs. They help greatly with relaxation and to reduce tension.
The benefits of both medication and breathing exercises:
- Increased feeling of self-awareness
- Increased relaxation
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Reducing negative emotions
- Increasing imagination and creativity
- Increasing patience and tolerance
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Improved sleep
- Increasing patience an tolerance
Examples of meditation and breathing techniques:
- Diaphragmatic Breathing: Slowly contract the diaphragm on a deep inhale as the belly expands but the chest does not rise. Then exhale slowly deep from the belly, then ribs, then chest as the belly deflates. Repeat 3-10 times
- 4, 7, 8 Breathing technique: Slowly exhale all air through the mouth. Close the lips and inhale through the nose counting to 4. Hold the breath to a count of 7. Slowly exhale through pursed lips for a count of 8. Repeat 4 times.
- Alternate nasal breathing: Place the middle finger between the eyebrows. Close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale slowly through the left nostril. Close the left nostril with the ring finger. Open the right nostril and exhale slowly. Pause. Inhale through the right nostril. Close it with the thumb again. Pause. Remove the ring finger from the left nostril and exhale slowly. Continue breathing this way for 5 minutes at first, increasing time as preferred.
- Yoga Nidra: Lie down. Relax with some slow deep breaths. Set an intention and repeat 3 times. Very slowly focus and silently name individual body parts one by one. The sequence is not important but it’s easiest to go from the feet up the legs, to the torso, arms, neck, head.
- Mantra Focused Meditation: Sit in a comfortable chair, feet on the ground and hands in your lap. Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths to relax. Open then close your eyes again. Repeat a mantra in your mind. As a thought enters your mind, return to the mantra. Continue for 20-30 minutes. After 20 minutes
- Mindfulness Meditation: This is a mental training that slows down racing thoughts while letting go of negativity to calm both body and mind. Focus the mind on what you are sensing and feeling in that moment without judgment. Use deep breathing and self-guided imagery to help.
- Esoteric Acupuncture: Esoteric Acupuncture is a form of meditation using Chakra balancing and sacred geometry to balance the body. It can be used as a conduit to enhance your own meditation practice as well as a balancing acupuncture treatment of its own. Diane is happy to provide more information regarding Esoteric Acupuncture.
Although Diane is not a meditation instructor, she can help you find the best technique for you. She has been practicing meditation daily for over 7 years.
To make an appointment at Vital Changes, please call 619-808-1099.