There is no quick fix to stress. There are, however, ways to manage your stress and/or anxiety in the moment that will help you to feel immediate relief. These tools, when practiced daily and constantly can also help you to manage your stress in the long run.
I decided to write about some immediate, practical stress management tips because I am all to familiar with that feeling of overwhelm, anxiety and mounting stress. For me it presents as tightness in my chest and shallow breathing, sometimes a tension headache, which feels like there is a tight band wrapped around my head. Those are my body’s signals to tell me it’s acutely stressed.
So I wanted to do a week’s worth of easy and effective stress management tools, and day 1 starts with a breathing technique. Go to my instagram for the post (@stresswellwithliz).
There are TONS of breathing techniques out there used for relaxation, meditation, and stress reduction, but today I want you to focus on one called diaphragmatic breathing.
Diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes called belly breathing, strengthens your diagram- a muscle that helps you breathe. There are tons of benefits to diaphragmatic breathing, some being:
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Lowers your heart rate
- Helps you relax
- Lowers your stress hormone cortisol
- Mostly importantly, it reduces your feelings of stress
So, let’s get to that breathing technique. Here’s how it works:
- Sit in a comfortable position or lie on a flat surface
- Relax tension in your body
- Breathe in through your nose for 2-3 seconds. Expand your stomach with air and make sure your chest stays relatively still.
- Contract your stomach and exhale through your mouth, with a pursed expression, for about 2 seconds.
- Repeat several times.
- Indulge in the relaxation
You can try this just about anywhere. It’s free and only takes several minutes of your time. Go try it! And let me know how it goes for you.