What would you do when in stress and overcome with anxiety? Look for solutions, talk to people, argue your way out or just sulk in loneliness. Whatever you do, it is wise to first focus on your breathing before you come up with a plan of action. Even if this seems a bit impractical to you, this is the foremost step you need to take to tackle stress.

Here is what happens to you when your stress levels soar:
• Your heart rate goes up, sometimes leading to palpitation that could be fatal.
• You perspire profusely due to the chemical imbalance in the body.
• Your muscles tense up.
• Your anxiety levels soar clogging your rational thinking capacity.
• Your body almost goes into phases of spasm, at times, with raging emotions of anger and frustration.
With all this happening to you, it makes you lose control over the situation to a great extent. Hence, it is important to control yourself to fight stress effectively. Belly breathing is the simplest and easiest way to do it effortlessly.

To practise belly breathing when stressed, follow these steps:
• Choose to sit in a comfortable place. You can also do it while at work sitting at your desk.
• Put your hand on your abdomen just below the navel and breathe deeply. To feel more relaxed and connected, you can do this by keeping your eyes shut.
• Inhale slowly through your nose so that your hand moves out as your belly expands. Hold your breath for few seconds and then exhale slowly.
• Repeat the practice for a few minutes till you feel relaxed and have a better control over your mind and body.
• Next think how you can deal with your situation better.

How belly breathing helps when in stress
Belly breathing or deep breathing from the diaphragm improves circulation and ensures a surge in oxygen level in the body. This helps one to relax almost instantly. On the other hand, shallow breathing causes the heart to beat faster and sends muscles into spasm. It also escalates feelings of stress and anxiety. Moreover, belly breathing also relieves one from muscular tension and anxiety helping one to focus better on tasks at hand.

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