Being able to relax in 5 minutes should be easy, but sometimes, in stressful situations,
both physical and mental, it can be a little complicated if you haven’t practiced it before.
There can be many stressful situations, such as:
- Having to speak in public
- saying no
- expressing your opinion, sometimes a negative one, before a group of people
- a job interview
- talking to someone you like
- asking for something you want
- doing something you’ve never done
- and many more.
Although, sometimes and without realizing it, you simply have the “stress” button on all day long.
So here are 7 ways in which you can breathe to achieve different results.
How to relax in 5 minutes
1. Focus on breathing
By simply focusing on your breathing, you’ll relax your nervous system. This breathing also helps you focus on the present and be in the “here and now”.
Take a deep breath while you read this article. When you breathe in, notice how the air goes in through your nose, notice how your chest and abdomen inflate, and how they deflate when you breathe out. Simply allow your mind to be there, focusing on the breathing your body does involuntarily, as you finish reading the rest of this article.
2. Count to 10
When your mind jumps, constantly, from one thought to the other, it can be difficult to keep your attention on your breath, so, one way to keep your mind busy is by counting.
There are different ways to count, for example:
- You count each time you do a full inhalation, that is:
- you breathe in -breathe out = 1
- breathe in – breathe out = 2
- … and so on until 10.
- You count for each inhalation and exhalation.
- you breathe in = 1
- breathe out = 2
- breathe in = 3
- breathe out = 4
- … until you reach 10
If you get lost on the way, that is, if you get distracted and suddenly catch yourself thinking about something that isn’t the following nomber, you start over, whether it’s from 0 or 10.
This is ideal for those days when you have trouble sleeping.
3. Counting backward (From 10 to 1)
This is the same as the previous one but in the opposite direction.
In this case, your first inhalation starts at 10 and you end with one.
You have two options, as in the previous case:
- You breathe in – breathe out = 1
- breathe in – breathe out = 9… until you reach 1
- Breathe in = 10
- breathe out = 9
- breathe in again = 8… until you reach 1
And again, if you get lost while counting, you start again.
In the two previous cases, you can change the numbers for words if it seeps simpler, for example:
- “Breathe in” = you say the word “relaxation” or “tranquility” (and you imagine how every time the air enters your nose your body relaxes, you calm down)
- Breathe out = you say the word “tension” or “stress” (and you imagine how the tension or stress that may be locked inside you, leaves your body)
Choose the word that best suits your needs at the time.
4. Hold your breath for 2 seconds
In this case the objective is to focus on holding, that moment of breathing where you neither inhale nor exhale. This usually takes a second or less, it’s almost imperceptible, but in this case, the idea is to make it voluntary and to hold it for longer.
The experts on the subject, claim that it is when you hold your breath that you can connect with a deep silence.
Breathing would go like this:
- Inhale – hold your breath, without releasing it, for 2 seconds – exhale and wait for 2 more seconds before you breathe in again.
5. Exhale all the air
Breathing like this helps you take very deep breaths.
It also helps you learn to breathe abdominally, instead of just diaphragmatically.
In very tense or anxious situations, taking a few deep and abdominal breaths can help you regain control within minutes.
To help you with this type of breathing you can count as follows:
- Inhale for 4 seconds – exhale for 8 seconds (exhale, exhale, exhale all the air in your lungs).
You have to be careful with this kind of breathing because you can hyperventilate, that is, your body exhales more carbon dioxide than it’s used to leading to an imbalance in the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, which can cause dizziness.
Therefore, I recommend not breathing like this for long. You can take 4 or 5 breaths like this and then breathe normally and after 1 minute, take 4 or 5 deep breaths again.
6. Balance your breathing
Sometimes, breathing becomes unbalanced, as in with deep breaths or very rapid breathing.
One way to rebalance your breathing is to devote the same time to inhale and to exhale.
- You inhale for 4 seconds – exhale for 4 seconds.
In this case, you can do something called square breathing, which has the same purpose, but in which 4 seconds are added to hold your breath. It goes like this:
- You inhale for 4 seconds – you hold your breath for 4 seconds – you exhale for 4 seconds – you wait 4 seconds before you inhale again.
7. Breathing to calm down
For me, this is the one that requires the most practice, but which, once you have mastered it, is one of the most effective ones to relax in 5 minutes.
Breathing goes like this:
- You breathe in for 2 seconds, you hold it for 2 seconds, you exhale while counting until 6 and wait 4 seconds before you inhale again.
Take it easy as it takes a lot of practice.
VERY IMPORTANT: Keep in mind, that some of these breathing techniques can lead to dizziness because more air than usual is coming in or getting out, in that case, stop immediately. It’ll be better to practice a bit every day so that, when you really need it, it doesn’t cause any side effects.
How else do you manage to relax in 5 minutes? Can you tell me in the comments?