Avocado Deep Breathing Exercise for Stress & Focus
This little avocado directs you in Resonant Breathing, also known as Coherent Breathing. This is when you breathe 5 full breaths per minute by inhaling and exhaling for a count of 5.
According to Healthline, “Breathing at this rate [of 5 full breaths a minute] maximizes your heart rate variability (HRV), reduces stress, and, according to one 2017 study, can reduce symptoms of depression when combined with Iyengar yoga.”
Thanks to our little avocado friend, you don’t have to count. Just breathe in and out as directed and you will be breathing at a rate of 5 breaths per minute.
This exercise is 5 minutes long which is the beginning level recommended by Healthline, but you can choose a shorter or longer length if you wish.
Can breathing exercises help anxiety?
“When you’re stressed or anxious, your breathing tends to be irregular and shallow,” says Kristoffer Rhoads, a clinical neuropsychologist who treats patients at the UW Medicine Memory & Brain Wellness Center at Harborview Medical Center. “Your chest cavity can only expand and contract so much, which makes it hard to get more air in.”
Right as Rain by UW Medicine explains, “Deep breathing (sometimes called diaphragmatic breathing) is a practice that enables more air to flow into your body and can help calm your nerves, reducing stress and anxiety. It can also help you improve your attention span and lower pain levels.”
What is the best breathing exercise for anxiety?
Right as Rain explains Dr. Rhoads’ deep breathing technique for anxiety:
“Rhoads likes to teach deep breathing by first having someone activate their sympathetic nervous system. You can do this by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes and imagining an extremely stressful situation. Notice how your body responds: Your chest might tighten, your breathing might grow shallower and your heart might beat faster.
Next, turn your attention to your breath. Focus on breathing from your stomach, pushing your stomach out each time you inhale. Take longer breaths, counting to at least three for each inhalation and exhalation. Keep doing this even though it may feel uncomfortable at first. After a while, you will start to notice your body feeling more relaxed.
“Noticing the differences for yourself in how your body feels is more powerful than anyone describing it to you,” Rhoads says.”
Be aware of how your body feels when you practice deep breathing, and after awhile you’ll be able to use this technique to calm yourself when feelings of anxiety cause shallow breathing.
Tell us what you think.
Do you practice breathing exercises? Does it help you with stress, focus or pain?
Add a photo of you doing your favorite deep breathing exercise with your comment!