To continue with your healthy living ways, try a free breathing exercise or two. These deep breathing exercises can pump you up, help you relax, reduce your blood pressure and possible even reduce stress.
When performing a free breathing exercise, concentrate only on your breathing and your body. Part of the calming effect (or invigorating effect, depending upon which breathing exercise you choose) is becoming aware of and centered in your own body.
Remember! Dizziness is not the goal. If you start feeling dizzy or lightheaded, stop the deep breathing exercises immediately!
Try alternate nostril breathing, one of my favorite tricks from yoga. Place your right thumb over your right nostril. Take a deep breath in through just your left nostril. Just before exhaling, switch so that your left thumb covers your left nostril, and exhale just through your right nostril. This is said to unite the two halves of the brain so that you can reach your full potential.
I do not recommend trying this free breathing exercise before bed, as I've found the opposite effect - it wakes me up and invigorates me almost as much as a shot of espresso!
My favorite free breathing exercise to shake off some stress is timed breathing. In this deep breathing exercise, inhale - through the nostrils - for a count of four, then exhale - again, through the nostrils - to that same count of four. As you practice, you can try increasing the count to five, six, etc.
I find this especially helpful during those times when I need to "count to ten" or am feeling overwhelmed. This deep breathing exercise helps me become centered and relaxed and is great at bed time.
For a more complete guide to deep breathing exercises, try Free Your Breath, Free Your Life: How Conscious Breathing Can Relieve Stress, Increase Vitality, and Help You Live More Fully
For more relaxation techniques, please visit Relaxation Exercises.
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