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4 Breathing Techniques That Can Relieve Stress in 10 Minutes or Less

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4 Breathing Techniques That Can Relieve Stress in 10 Minutes or Less

A lot of us experience lack of sleep and stress most of the time due to being overworked and having a lot of pressure from our daily lives. The fast-paced world of the city can make people living there feel overwhelmed. The pollution and busy urban life also can contribute to stressful feelings. It could be expensive to take a trip into the spa or massage parlor every now and then. Although massages are therapeutic and designed to reduce stress, many people avoid them because of the cost. They usually aren’t covered by insurances. How much more if you would want a vacation spree just to be able to relax? The quickest way to relax does not really need you to spend some money because all you would need is a pair of lungs.You also can exercise regularly, but unless you ride your bike or run, you’ll have to get a health club membership, another expense you might not have.

Still, you need to find ways to reduce your stress. Having stress leads to heart disease and stroke, circulation problems, addictions and other medical maladies.These breathing techniques can help you relax in just 10 minutes or even less.

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1. Practice Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”

This method is the simplest of the four but proves very effective nonetheless. Simply inhale for four counts, then exhale with the same number of counts through the nose. The activity will add some resistance to your breath. As soon as you get used to the equal breathing technique, you can then try to increase the number of counts between inhaling to exhaling (up to six or eight counts) depending on your level of comfort.

This technique is very effective when you are about to sleep and you need to relax your mind and body.

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2. Use the Abdominal Breathing Technique

This technique is done with a hand on the chest and the other on the belly. Start with a deep breath through your nose and feel your diaphragm inflate to create enough room for air to enter the lungs. Six to ten deep breaths per minute are enough and it is advisable to perform this activity for at least 10 minutes a day.

Try this breathing technique before plungeing into a stressful activity such as an exam or a business meeting.

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3. Try Kapalabhati or “Skull Shining Breath”

This is done by taking a slow yet long inhalation, followed by a quick, strong exhalation drawn from the lower belly. The moment you are already comfortable with the contraction, try increasing the pace from a one inhale-exhale combination up to a total of 10 breaths — then, you will eventually maximize this breathing technique.

This method is best done a few minutes after waking up in order to warm the body up.

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4. Perform Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

This breathing technique is said to unite both sides of the brain, resulting in calmness and total balance in an individual. It’s done by holding a thumb to one of your nostrils, then inhaling deeply through the uncovered nostril. At the peak of the inhalation, cover the uncovered nostril with any of your available fingers. Then, release the thumb in order to exhale through the previously covered nostril. Repeat the process and alternate sides every now and then.

This breathing technique is ideal to perform whenever you need to focus on a task. It might feel strange, but it works. Mastering this will ensure you have the balance that you seek, thus relieving stress.

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Try these breathing techniques to keep you from getting overwhelmed or stressed. However, don’t forget other stress relievers, such as: exercising, yoga, shopping, being with your spouse for a special night, dancing, cooking a special meal, working in your garden and reading. The breathing techniques help and are necessary for the health of your lungs, but they are meant to complement other methods, not replace them.

Featured photo credit: 4 Breathing Techniques That Can Relieve Your Stress via google.com

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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