When you’re under stress, your breath may be faster than normal, or you might find that you’re unconsciously holding it in. Consider this a reflection of how your nervous system is faring. The good news is that you can use conscious breathing techniques, or pranayama, to bring it back to a rest and digest state, and limit the damaging effects of stress.
When faced with uncertainty and feeling ungrounded, Melissa Eisler, a certified leadership coach, mindfulness facilitator, and author, recommends breathing exercises that focus on the exhalation. “These are particularly helpful in managing anxiety and stress because our exhales are neurologically tied to the relaxation response in the brain,” she says. “That’s why we sigh when we are relieved!”
See also Breathe Easy: Relax with Pranayama
When you practice calming breathing techniques regularly, it…