Breathing Techniques and Tips That Will Help Parents
Feeling stressed? Overworked? Overwhelmed? Sometimes a breather is all you need.
When you find yourself in a stressful situation it is easy to let anxiety overwhelm and take over your emotions. When you start to feel stressed, especially as a busy parent, use these breathing hacks to help calm yourself down.
There are many ways that you can reduce stress as a busy parent. Taking a breather is an easy way to find a little calm in a very stressful situation. Take one minute or five and use one of these 4 breathing techniques to ease your mind and find a little peace in a stressful situation.
Equal Breathing also called Sama Vrittia is a very basic form of controlled breathing. Controlled breathing is just the act of controlling your breath and calming from within. Equal breathing reduces stress and anxiety.
Performing equal breathing can be done anywhere at any time. Plus, it’s free. Find a comfortable place to sit. It does not have to be done on a floor, with your legs crossed, and peaceful music on.
No, it doesn’t.
Find a quiet peaceful place for a minute. Use the equal breathing technique to reduce your stress in a quick amount of time.
Close your eyes and notice your natural breathing. Don’t change anything in the beginning. Just be aware. Let yourself breath just as you are for about seven to ten breaths. Recognize how you are breathing.
Now that you are aware of your breaths, keep your eyes close, and begin to count to four as you breathe in. Now release that breath, slowly, count to four in your mind as you exhale.
Keep taking slow breaths in at the count of four and slowing exhale them with the same four counts.
Keep this pattern and feel yourself aware of your breathing. As you continue to practice equal breathing, take a moment to feel the stress leaving your body when you exhale.
Do not try to rid your body of the exact stress. Just take it slow and feel the stress naturally leaving your body as you exhale. Use the equal breathing technique for five minutes if time allows. You will find your stressed decreased and your anxiety reduced at the end of your equal breathing session.
Science behind Equal Breathing:
Many studies have been performed about equal breathing on the effects on the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is the nervous system of the body that takes place without you consciously taking an effort to make it happen. The autonomic nervous system controls your blood flow, your digestion, your heartbeat, your breathing, and more.
Abdominal Breathing sometimes called diaphragmatic breathing, or calming breathing is a technique that slows your breathing when you feel anxious or stressed. Using the abdominal breathing technique will help calm your fight or flight reactions.
If you are a parent who often has high levels of anxiety, learn this breathing technique. When you have anxiety, you are breathing through your chest and affecting the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your system.
When you are breathing through your chest you are helping your anxious feelings grow. When we are born, we naturally breathe through our abdomen. As we get older we begin to change our breathing and start breathing through our chest.
Begin by placing one hand on your upper chest and the alternate hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in and let your stomach expand up as you take a breath in. When you breathe out, feel your stomach retract back in. Work on creating a cycle of breaths while doing this technique.
Breath in while counting to three or four, pause for one second, then breath out counting down those three or four seconds. Feeling your stomach grow and retract with each breath.
When you are starting to feel anxious or recognize that anxiety is creeping in, use this technique to lower your anxiety and start to feel more relaxed.
Science behind abdominal breathing:
Abdominal breathing affects your parasympathetic nervous system, or the digest and rest system. By breathing through your chest, you are increasing the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your system. As you are taking breaths in, deep into your abdomen, you are signaling your brain into a relaxed state. Your body takes the queue to rest and digest. By practicing abdominal breathing, you are relaxing your body and creating a more restful state to ease anxieties and stress.
Alternate Nostril Breathing:
Alternate nostril breathing, sometimes called Nadi Shodhana, is grounding for your mind. You will start in a relaxed sitting position. Rest your left hand on your thigh or knee, use your right hand (or dominant hand) to perform the alternate nostril breathing technique.
Raise your right thumb to your right nostril and close it. Breath in slowly through your left nostril. Now, close your left nostril will your ring finger of your right hand. Slowly breath out through your right nostril. When you feel your exhale is complete, breathe in slowly through your right nostril while keeping your left closed.
Now, close your right nostril and exhale through your left. Continue this alternating pattern for five minutes if time allows. The more focused your mind becomes with this alternating breathing pattern the more you will feel focused and at peace.
Science behind alternate nostril breathing:
By practicing alternate nostril breathing you are balancing the right and left hemispheres of your brain. By balancing both sides of your brain you will become more focused and more at peace.
These feelings can be very beneficial during stressful times. When you are a busy parent, going through daily life tasks, the better you are focused and the more at peace you are, the more successful your parenting will become.
4-7-8 breathing is used to stop anxiety attacks instantly. This is a very useful breathing technique if you are often stressed and have high anxiety.
To perform the 4-7-8 breathing technique, place the tip of your tongue on to the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Then for 4 seconds, slowly breath in through your nose. Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
Now, release that breathe through your mouth for 8 seconds. Do this technique three to four times in a row. After you have completed your last 8 second exhale, breath normally.
Science behind 4-7-8 breathing:
When you practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique you are instantly calming the fight or flight response of your brain. The 4-7-8 breathing technique can stop an anxiety attack in its tracks. When you are in a constant state of anxiety, you are actually depriving your brain of oxygen.
When you are not breathing at your full potential and causing your brain to not receive enough oxygen to think clearly and you are more likely to experience anxiety attacks more often.
Using the 4-7-8 breathing technique you are causing your breaths to slow, becoming more conscious of your breathing, and you are taking in more oxygen.
Parenting is a struggle. There will be many moments in your life, as a parent, that you feel stressed to the max. Take a minute or five to practice one of these breathing techniques to ease your mind and find a little peace in the day.