Calm Your Mind With These Breathing Techniques

For years I’ve taught martial arts students breathing techniques to help them learn to calm their minds. You see, in the martial arts we have an exercise, called sparring, where students engage in controlled fighting with another student. When you spar, your body’s automatic reaction is to engage your fight and flight response. This causes your heart rate to rise and your breathing to become rapid and shallow. This makes sparring very difficult and for some students it can make them hyperventilate. If you can’t calm your mind you can even pass out.

What Does This Have to Do With Everyday Life?

Today, more than ever your fight or flight response is being activated regularly. If normal life wasn’t enough, the pandemic, racial unjustness and sky-high unemployment are affecting us all one way or another. All of these can cause your heart rate to rise and your breathing to become rapid and shallow. See the connection?

Knowing how to calm yourself with breathing techniques can really help ease your mind and emotions when dealing with all of these issues. You can learn to use breathing techniques to reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety by recognizing them and them letting them go.

Your Emotions Are Real

Your emotions are valid responses to situations that happen in your life. Learning to control your breathing can help you better cope with them.

These breathing techniques are especially useful when things feel out of control. You can use breathing as a method to cope and bring your life back into focus. Breathing techniques are something anyone can learn and are an immediate way to relax and cut out the stress.

5 Breathing Techniques You Can Use to Instantly Calm Your Mind

Life is too short to feel overstressed and overwhelmed. You don’t have to let yourself miss out on moments in life due to stress and anxiety. Instead of dreading certain situations, use the following breathing techniques to move through them.

1.    Count backwards from 10.

Slowly and calmly take deep breaths as you’re counting backward. You’ll feel the stress dissipate like a mist in the morning. This will help your mind to clear.

You can practice this by counting aloud, or you can count in your head when you’re around other people.

There’s no right or wrong way to do this one.

2.    Take long, deep breaths.

In this exercise you are not counting, just breathing. Just breathe in and out over and over again.

Practice this breathing technique like this:

Breathe in, breathe out.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Do this for a few minutes and you will feel the calmness taking over.

This is an easy to do technique that many people practice when they’re feeling stressed at home, work, or just in traffic. It’s quite effective and simple.

3.    Pace around the room and breathe.

For many people, pacing is a great way to gain control over your thoughts. When you pair pacing with some consistent and steady breaths, you’ll have a much better outcome and a clearer mind.

If you’re somewhere that you feel like you can’t pace, leave that location and go somewhere else where you can.

A quick walk is optimal for this technique, too. Taking a stroll around the block is always a good idea for your mind and body.

4.    Count down from 100 and breathe through each number.

Some situations just require a longer countdown. This is okay. When you are experiencing times of high stress or uncertainty, you need to give yourself more time to calm down. This is when this breathing technique can be used effectively.

Here’s how it works:

Start at 100 and count backward with your same slow breathing techniques as before. Make sure you give yourself enough time to do this.

You might have to get all the way to zero before you feel better or you may be able to stop and refocus somewhere in between.

5.    Breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Concentrating on your breaths will help you control your thoughts and emotions. While it does take more effort than some of the other breathing techniques, it can work wonders.

You Can Take Back Control of Your Thoughts and Emotions

Which of these breathing techniques is best? The one you decide to use!

The great thing about these breathing techniques is you can always start with one method and then switch to a different one. Working through will help you to calm down and focus.

Use these techniques to take charge of your emotional and mental worries. These breathing techniques are a great way to push out the negativity and fears while opening your mind to calmness.

More than ever we a dealing with a great deal of stress daily. Being able to have your very own coping mechanisms gives you a handy way to alleviate your stressful thoughts and feelings.

Just because you’re feeling stressed in that moment doesn’t mean that it has to be your blueprint and path for the entire day. Use these breathing techniques as tools to get through the stressful moment, so you can move forward positively through the rest of your day.

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