It has been a while since the last time I have written a blog post here. That is due me having a lot of assignments and deadlines to meet as I’m in my final year at university. Alongside having some experience working as a full-time employee in a company, I can say that wherever you are, we all have to deal with a lot of things on our shoulders. If I have to compare both situations I must say that being a student can be more stressful than working a full-time job! When I was working 9-5, I would have to deal with responsibilities and problems during those 8 hours, but once the clock strikes 5 pm you can just forget everything, go home and take your mind off those, sometimes stressful, responsibilities. However, when you are a student, you constantly have this feeling that you should be doing your coursework in order to get a good mark and meet those deadlines. Almost every university student I know suffers from this, therefore today I would like to give you a little exercise which can be done by anyone who wants to feel less anxious or stressed.
The exercise is simply called deep breathing exercise. In a similar manner as meditation, deep breathing exercises can reduce stress, anxiety and make you calmer. There have been a number of studies that show the health benefits of deep breathing. Powerful breathing affects every system in your body – cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, lymph immune, digestive and of course, respiratory. By using deep breathing exercises you not only supply required oxygen to your body but also stimulate the vagus nerve, which produces organic chemicals that tell your body to chill out. An important fact to mention is that deep breathing exercises do not necessarily involve reducing your stressors, but rather help to change your reaction to them. With this in mind, I recommend making these exercises daily practise as it does help to change your overall outlook on life by making you a less worried person.
There are many different methods which you can try for yourself, but here is a list of 3 examples you can use anytime to feel different effects:
- Equal Breathing.
The most basic exercise of deep breathing. Simply breath in through your nose by counting up to four in your mind. Then exhale (again through the nose) by counting to four again. Do this 5-8 times in a row. If it’s been a while since the last time you’ve taken a deep breath even this exercise might be a challenge but it is enough to feel stress relieved!
Equal breathing example. Just breathe by following the movement of the shape.
- The 4-7-8 Exercise.
To start off, exhale completely through your mouth. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose mentally counting up to four. Then hold your breath for a count of seven. Once you do that, exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. Repeat the process 4 times. This breathing exercise is a natural tranquillizer for the nervous system. Try to do it anytime something irritating happens. Or in other words, before you react to the situation. It will give you time to look at the situation in a different angle and to feel less upset.
- Skull Shining Breath.
This one is great when you need to get yourself out of a certain state and look at things from a different perspective. It goes like this: take a slow deep breath through your nose and then exhale quickly and fully through your mouth (the breath should come out of the lower part of your belly). Do this for 10 times in total and you will feel that your body will warm up and this would help to shake off stale mood that you were in.
As I’ve mentioned before there are many different ways of practising deep breathing. While most of them will help you to relax and release stress, others might help you to shift your mood and energy levels. So don’t be afraid, try these out on your own time. I would recommend picking the one you like the most and add it to your daily routines to live a better life.
Thanks for reading, I hope you have a great day!
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Disclaimer: I believe that these exercises can help to relieve stress and anxieties, but if you find yourself suffering from more serious problems you should always seek professional help.
References: https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/Breathing.html  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2262522/pdf/tacca200060-0233.pdf