Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress

Day to day events, such as money woes, traffic jams, job worries, or relationship problems contribute to the buildup of stress. This will lead to anxiety and depression as well as many other health problems like cardiovascular disease, insomnia, hypertension (high blood pressure), indigestion, increased infections and autoimmune disease. We can’t avoid all sources of stress in our lives but we can develop healthier ways of dealing them. Many of us rarely take a couple of deep breaths throughout the entire day. You could be missing out one of the simplest ways of improving your health and quality of living, if you are not taking deep breaths. Deep breathing exercises are believed to be a foundational principle of managing life’s stress and might save your sanity.

Benefits Of Deep Breathing

1. It helps in releasing accumulated tension and fatigue.

2. Works therapeutically for most circulatory and respiratory problems.

3. Releases accumulated stress in the mind and body effectively and helps relax.

4. Improve mental concentration and physical stamina.

5. Deep breathing triggers the release of endorphins, which improves feelings of well-being and provides pain-relief.

6. Helps the lymphatic system function properly, which encourages the release of harmful toxins. This cleanses the body and allows it to direct its energy to more productive functions.

7. Breathing is the oxygenation process to all of the cells in your body. With the supply of oxygen to the brain, this increases the muscles in your body.

Depending on the oils you choose, you can set the right mood to help your mind and body relax, or they can help you focus on your breath during your practice. 

You can even select oils based on your current state or the one you would rather be in. If you want to enhance the mood, you would like to be in, and you can find oils to support that goal. You can take control by making your own essential oil blends. 

Alternate Nostril Breathing

The alternate nostril breathing is a breathing technique that helps clear these blocked energy channels, thus calming the mind. It is also referred to as Nadi Shodhan or Anulom Vilom Pranayama. It is a wonderful complement to meditation.

How To Do It:-

1. Turn the first two fingers of your right hand down into your palm, leaving the thumb, ring finger and pinkie extended.

2. Gently touch your ring finger to your left nostril and your thumb to your right nostril. You will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril.

3. Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril.

4. Breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right.

5. Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. This is one completed one round of inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.

6. Complete 9 such rounds by alternately breathing through both the nostrils. After every exhalation, remember to breathe in from the same nostril from which you exhaled. Keep your eyes closed throughout and continue taking long, deep, smooth breaths without any force or effort.

Alternate Nostril Breathing helps to harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlates to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.

If you need to raise your spirits, adding on essential oils during your regular yoga practice can help. You can use a diffuser to disperse the aroma throughout your practice. Making your own room sprays is another great idea to disperse the scent. Or direct inhalation by putting 1-2 drops of any single oil or oil blend in the center of one palm, heat up the oil by rubbing your palms together quickly, before the start of Alternate Nostril Breathing practice.

According to a 2009 study published by the International Journal of Yoga about the use of breathing exercises for people suffering with asthma, breathing exercises (prānāyāma), mainly expiratory exercises, improved lung function subjectively and objectively and should be regular part of therapy.” In 2013, they also documented prānāyāma’s use in reducing anxiety. They concluded that “after practicing prānāyāma, only 33% of the participants of the experimental group experienced high test anxiety, while this percentage was nearly twice in the control group (66.7%).”

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Essential Oil Blends

When blending fragrance, you can get our popular Essential Oil Printables to get inspiration. 

This 1-page printable is on using essential oils against dozens of ailments. Essential oils can become your go-to-solutions for health and wellness. A basic list of essential oils natural remedies in relieving symptoms and promoting wellness.

This 1-page printable includes essential oil blends by making your own room spray or essential oil blends on your skin or use a roll-on oil specifically designed for yoga.

An alternative to breathing in your essential oils is from a tissue or cotton ball through Deep Breathing Inhalation:-

1. Select 100% essential oil or oil blend.

2. Hold the bottle up to your nose and take a quick sniff.

3. For a deeper inhalation, sit comfortably with a tall spine and relaxed shoulder, put 2-3 drops of the essential oil on a tissue or cotton ball. Exhale to your next breath quickly. Start with an exhale, emptying out your lungs, your next breath will be fill up with air – minimum effort for maximum oxygen. This will make you feel energised and at ease all at once.

4. As you finish your exhale, hold the tissue up to your nose, and this time very silently breathe the oil in. If you hear yourself making a sniffing sound, try to relax your nostrils (the sniffing sound is an indication you may be tightening and narrowing your breathing passage, making it harder to take in the full body of the aroma).

5. Exhale and inhale slowly again, waving the tissue back and forth below each of your nostrils, one side at a time. Smelling is three dimensional, so each nostril “sees” the aroma a little differently. Feel free to experiment with how different the oil smells when you block one nostril.

6. Exhale and inhale slowly once more without blocking off your nostrils, and now how different the aroma is from when you first sniffed it. Try to feel the oil entering your body through your breathing passages.

7. Continue to slowly exhale and inhale. Now try to relax your abdominals a bit so that your breathing gets even deeper. Your can even put a hand on your belly so feel when you are letting your muscles ease up. Pay attention to your belly, which should be moving while you breathe: flattening when your exhale and relaxing when you inhale.

After this exercise, you should be feeling the oils working on your psyche and relaxing your body. This simple technique is a go-to method for adjusting your mood, clear your sinuses, alleviating tension, and sleeping better.

Mastering the fine art of exhaling to slowly breathe in an essential oil is an extremely useful skill, it is a direct portal to the present moment.

Simply by practicing a few rounds of deep breathing for a few minutes each day, you can help restore your health and quality of life. How impressive is that!

Essential Oil Blending Basics

Essential oils can be categorized into broad groups based on their aromas. An example categorical system is as follows:

Examples: Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Jasmine

Examples: Sandalwood, Cedarwood

Examples: Vetiver, Patchouli

Examples: Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary

Examples: Peppermint, Spearmint

Examples: Eucalyptus, Tea Tree

Examples: Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon

Examples: Orange, Lemon, Lime

More Guides

These charts will help you create fantastic blends using the rules of perfumery,  while making sure how you can use your essential oils safely. 

This 1-page printable chart is perfect for essential oil users as it shows the families used in perfumery by aromatherapists, depending on their botanical origin.

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