Breathing exercises are a wonderful way to destress. When you finally master the techniques then you will notice that the tensions are slipping away from you! Besides that they give you a lot of energy, you will also lower your blood pressure and you will sleep better. In short: you learn to relax and through this you can prevent a burnout.
It is good for everyone to search for relaxation once in a while, but if you have the feeling you are heading for a burnout then it is important to plan enough resting moments for you and make yourself relax. Because only in this way you can handle more stressors in life. By making enough mental moments of relaxation you will also physically become peaceful. It also works the other way round, physical exercise can really help to diminish mental stress. Certain chemicals are namely made in the brain that reduce stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline) when you do physical activity.
It is very important that the constant making of stress hormones by the body is stopped. Because when you are constantly experiencing stress in the body, this can lead to physical problems but also to a depression, hunted feeling, aggression and finally a burn-out. The physical symptoms as a consequence of chronic stress that are often apparent:
A wrong kind of breathing is often a sign of a future burnout. Stress has such a large negative influence on the body and is seen as an important factor considering breathing problems. People with a lot of stress have more difficulties breathing in a normal, calm way. With chronic stress, people often have a tensed tummy.
Breathing from the belly is more difficult because of this tensed abdomen and you will automatically start breathing from the chest. This is a forced way of breathing and the result of this is often that people start to experience a shortness of breath, sometimes hyperventilation and even heart palpitations. You will find more information about hyperventilation here below. Then we will explain some breathing techniques with which you will learn to destress and get out of a burnout.
Some people that are facing acute stress will encounter problems of hyperventilation and often this is preceded by a panic attack. As a consequence of a panic attack the body activates a sort of defence mechanism which is why an extremely fast and shallow breath starts. We call this hyperventilation.
Are you experiencing stress complaints for a longer amount of time and do you feel rushed all the time? A little bit of stress is not so bad once in a while, but if you are experiencing this for a longer amount of time we are talking about chronic stress and a burnout is awaiting you. Therefore learn this simple technique in which you will relax your breathing and thus also yourself.
Breathe in as deep as possible from the belly and hold the breath for 5 seconds. Then you slowly breathe out (without pressure) by simply relaxing the abdomen. The out-breath can easily take 7 to 8 seconds. Let your shoulders drop nicely and take a relaxed posture. Repeat this for 4 to 5 times. You will notice that after one of these breathing sessions you will feel a lot less stressed.
It may be that you are feeling a little busy after this. That is not a miracle since you have breathed in a lot more oxygen than normal and have less carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide builds up in the longs with a wrong, shallow breath.
Another relaxing breathing exercise is consciously breathing from your belly. Often people have learned not to breathe from the belly anymore. Lay on a mattress or simply on the floor or a yoga mat. Keep your legs straight and sightly apart. Lay your arms besides you in a relaxed way. Then close your eyes and try not to think about anything but just focus on your breathing from the abdomen.
Let your stomach rise up and breathe out calmly again. In the beginning you might still accidentally breath from the chest. You can prevent this by placing one hand on your abdomen and then focussing on this. You will notice that you will become more and more able to breathe in a relaxed manner from the abdomen. Only then will the lungs fill themselves with enough oxygen. Breathing from the abdomen is a sign for the body that it is not in a stressful situation. The body then does not make any extra stress hormones and you will feel much more relaxed in the end!
Did you know that with breathing exercises you do a lot more than just bringing your mind to stillness? You are practicing different bodily functions. These bodily functions are amongst others muscle tone, brain activity and heartbeat. A calm heartbeat, less brain activity and relaxed muscles will ensure that your stress reduces significantly. You really become rested.
Of course are breathing exercises one of the ways in which to prevent a burnout. It definitely helps you to destress and it is a very relaxing activity. But when you are facing many tensions or perhaps chronic stress, you are actually already too late. You then have asked too much of the body. Therefore: Avoid being overloaded!
You can do this by letting other people do certain things or letting them go. Take a few days off once in a while and do something fun with your partner, children or friends! An never take on too many things. It is important to be able to enjoy your work and life. Avoid factors in your surrounding that stress you out and also learn to accept that nobody is perfect. Including yourself. Therefore do not ask yourself to much and your surroundings.