A breather against stress

A breather against stress

When we are stressed, we tend to breathe in too much. This in turn triggers even more stress. To calm down and counteract stress, we recommend the following exercise:

  1. Inhale deeply into the abdomen for 4 seconds.
  2. Exhale for 6 seconds until the abdomen is drawn in.
  3. Hold until the impulse to inhale comes.

The longer it takes for the impulse to come, the better. The breathing exercise should be repeated three times a day with at least three rounds - plus in between when things are particularly stressful. It brings the diaphragm into the correct position and the blood values improve as the body realizes that it is okay to get by with less oxygen. But the most important effect is that the parasympathetic nervous system, our "anti-stress nerve", is activated.

The long-term goal should be to extend the exhalation to 8 seconds. If you find the exercise difficult at first, you can start with shorter intervals (inhale for 2 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds) and slowly increase them. Later on, you can increase the effect by performing the whole exercise while moving, as this increases the apparent shortness of breath.

You can find more information about the "air hunger" exercise in this episode of the very informative podcast "Was dich bewegt".

If you want to get more ideas for breathing exercises, you'll find them at YogaEasy. We give you two free YogaEasy months. We can particularly recommend the video "Beruhigung durch Atemarbeit" by Tina Scheid.