By: Lisa Payne
Just like that, summer is over, and school is back in session. Jumping into a school routine of late-night studying and early-morning classes can cause anyone’s stress level to rise. But when the pressure’s on it’s especially important to not only dedicate yourself to schoolwork, but also to self-care.
Elevate school nerves and reduce stress with these 4 breathing techniques.
The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that contracts when you inhale, pulling the air in. And as you exhale, it pushes air out of the lungs. Diaphragmatic breathing helps slow down a frazzled nervous system by slowing your breathing rate. Seated or lying down, place one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen. Using deep inhales and exhales, breathe deep enough that you feel your body rise into your hands.
This breathing technique is perfect for when you have a hard time sleeping. Take a deep breath in for the count of 4. Hold that breath for 7 counts. Then, force the air out for an entire 8 counts. Repeat up to four times. Not only is it helpful for a restless night, it helps promote mindfulness by focusing on counting the breaths.
Pronounced kah-pah-luh-BAH-tee, Kapalabhati is a pranayama, a breathing exercise done in yoga. It consists of quick, yet powerful exhales and more relaxed inhales. Its intent is to clear out the lungs and nasal passages. This energizing technique is an advanced breathing technique.
Skip the mass amounts of energy drinks and coffee. Alternate nostril breathing benefits helps boost energy – a must-try if long cram sessions are in your immediate future. Place your right thumb on your right nostril and exhale out through your left nostril. Close your left nostril with your right ring finger and inhale through your right nostril. Bring it back by exhaling through your right nostril, close it with your right thumb and inhale through your left nostril.
Ease stress, sleep sounder and get more energy when you need it most. Whether it’s adapting to a new school, schedule or tough curriculum, breathing techniques like these can help.