Not all stress is bad. In fact, we probably need some stress in our lives to keep us on our toes. Many activities are worth doing even if they are stressful, such as paying bills or talking out an upsetting problem. It is often not the stressors themselves that are the problem but how you cope with them.
Breathing deeply and correctly can clear thinking, increase circulation, facilitate positive changes in moods and emotions, as well as tone the nervous system-enabling us to experience and enjoy life more fully. In fact, some stress reduction experts believe that deep breathing is the first step in learning to relax and unwind.
In breathing for relaxation, breathe in through the nose slowly and deeply- filling your lungs from the lowest part to the top. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale through the mouth. By practicing deep breathing and controlling the breath, you can trigger a relaxation response in the body. When the breathing is slowed and deepened, the heart rate decreases and tension in the body can dissipate. Practice deep breathing on a daily basis, taking at least forty deep breaths a day.
Another method of breathing that can be used for relaxation and calming the nerves is called "color breathing", made popular by the late Linda Clark. In this method, simply sit in a quiet, meditative state (without disturbances) and breathe deeply, five or six times. Imagine that you are breathing in the color of sky blue, which is for relaxation and a sense of well-being. Then choose the color purple and breathe in-filling your whole body. Purple is for cleansing away physical and emotional disturbances.
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