04/17/2015 by | 3 Comments
For many of us, stress is a daily part of life. While we sometimes can’t cut out the source of the stress, we can work on controlling it and calming ourselves down. And one of the simplest ways to do so is also something you’re doing right now: breathing.
Breathing exercises have been credited with all kinds of health benefits, from changing blood pressure to influencing asthma. While the full benefits haven’t been studied at length in a clinical setting, breathing exercises have been practiced for centuries. And today’s Health Habits challenge is to try out one of the simplest forms: equal breathing.
Getting started is so simple you can try it right now as you read this article, or try it later as you try to fall asleep or are on your commute. Start by taking a slow, deep breath, and slowly count to four as you do. When your lungs are full, breathe out just as slowly, also while counting to four. The aim is to take slow, measured breaths where you’re breathing in for the same length of time as you’re breathing out.
If four seconds seems too long (or too short!), you can adjust the time to whatever you’re comfortable with.
So tell us: did you try equal breathing while reading the article? How did it make you feel?