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5 Breathing Techniques to Help Reduce Stress

Breathing is information. The more stressed you feel, the faster you breathe, and your brain will notice this and read it as a signal that things are not going well. That fast, shallow breathing which happens when you’re stressed is effectively telling your brain that you’re running from a lion. But the reverse of this rule is also true: if you breathe slowly, you’re giving your brain a signal that you’re in a place of calm. You will start to feel less stressed. Studies have even shown that the right kind of breathing can reduce our perception of pain. Both the pace at which you breathe and how deeply you breathe change your stress response. If all you do for one minute is slow your breathing down and aim for six breaths (one breath is in and out) in that minute, it will reduce the stress state and stimulate the thrive state.

A daily practice of breathing – Breathing practice is especially worth considering if you’re the kind of person who finds meditation difficult. You don’t have to stick to the same practice each time. Play around. Listen to your body. Experiment. I’m sure that, within a few days, you’ll find a technique that works for you. Aim to do at least one of these practices every day. Even one minute per day of focused, intentional breathing can make a big difference.

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