Breathe the Stress Out

Posted on April 11, 2022

In honor of Stress Awareness Month, let’s talk about breath control. Each person encounters a different type and/or amount of stress each day, whether from home, school, work, relationships or whatever comes up in between. People also respond to stress differently, and how you handle your response can make a big difference in your overall health. Thankfully, there are easy and simple ways to manage your stress and stay healthy, like meditation.

You don’t need to be a Zen master to meditate. All you need to do is breathe. From there, you can get creative to see what works for you!

First, create a quiet space. It could be at your desk, in your bedroom, in your backyard or anywhere else that you can spend at least one minute with minimal distractions. Then, either sitting, standing, lying down or even walking, just listen to your breath. Your eyes can be closed, or you can keep them open and gently focus your gaze on one object (that is not a computer or phone screen!)

Breathing techniques can help keep the mind focused on the breath instead of whatever your thoughts are worried about. Try counting to four as you inhale, hold your breath for a count of four, and exhale for another four. Do this at anywhere from three to ten times. This will help you feel more alert and focused. 

Start with just one minute a day, and then if you find the time, maybe work up to ten minutes (or even longer) or try more frequent one-minute meditation breaks throughout the day. You can make this work for whatever your schedule throws at you each day!