Conscious Breathing Techniques to Eliminate Stress and Tension

focused mind energy

Channel Your Focus Through Deep Breathing

In times of high stress, simply focusing on your breathing can shift your state of consciousness. Our monkey brains like to create stress and tension in our bodies based on our perceptions of our external reality.

External reality is a scary thing sometimes. We all have deadlines and tasks we must finish, life can get hectic sometimes. Luckily, you have the ability to change your state of mind anytime you feel like. If you learn how to consciously focus your breathing, you can put yourself in a highly relaxed state in a few minutes. Drawing your attention away from stressful thoughts and onto your breathing eliminates the tensions your body creates in reaction to these negative thoughts.

Deep breathing is one of greatest things you can do for yourself to lower stress levels, and feel more relaxed whenever you consciously choose to.

Deep Breathing Techniques:

To draw your attention off of your thoughts, immediately consciously focus on your breath. Follow the air as it enters your nostrils, and channel it into your belly, not your chest. Breathe nice and slow as you stay focused on a small area near your belly button. If your focus and awareness leave that point, direct it back immediately. Try to keep the attention for at least 5 minutes. Then graduate to 10.Then 20. Then as far as you are willing to go. This is a nice, easy, simple form of meditation.

Next, see how long you can make a single breath last. I don’t mean holding your breath. At the point where you feel can no longer inhale any more air, release slowly, and exhale with the same rhythm of your inhale. Don’t hold the inhalation in, begin to exhale as you feel the transition of your breath going towards exhaling. When you have slowly squeezed all of the air out of your lungs, start again. Make sure to completely exhale. Notice how the longer you do this exercise, the longer your breath becomes. If you consciously focus on your body inflating with oxygen and life energy, your negative thought patterns begin to slip away. You will no longer be a slave to your thoughts. You will become aware of them, and be able to eliminate them.

Eliminating negative thought patterns leaves more time for positive, empowering, creative thoughts to flow through each day. Spending any time in a negative state is time taken away from a positive state. Don’t miss any opportunities to allow creative thoughts to arise, find that positive state when you need to. Directing your breath into your belly channels your focus away from any negative thought patterns that may form in your mind. They will slip away when you don’t decide to fall victim to them.

Have you ever noticed how a baby breathes?

Deep, slow breaths through the stomach.

As we grow older, and become faced with more stressful situations, our breathing tends to channel more into our chest. Chest breathing is referred to as “shallow breathing” and limits the amount of oxygen you can inhale with each breath. Belly breathing, sometimes known as diaphragmatic breathing is a form of deep breathing. Deep breathing allows your body to ingest more oxygen. Ingesting more oxygen means reduced stress levels, less anxiety, and a more focused brain. The brain needs a lot of fuel to operate at a high level for a prolonged period of time. Developing your breathing habits to channel more oxygen and energy into your system is highly beneficial. It is also completely free, and can be done anywhere, at any time.

Once you start consciously pausing to deep breathe during high levels of stress, you will start to unconsciously breathe deeper naturally throughout the day. You won’t even have to think about it anymore, your body is already trained to take slower, deeper breaths, while you can consciously focus on your present task. The body will automatically know how to deal with stress issues that arise. It will associate any perceived stress as just another opportunity to consciously breathe deep. Soon it will never have to visit it consciously very often,  leaving you more time to  focus on accomplishing your tasks.

Deep breathing can also have great physical benefits as well. Along with your brain, your body’s other organs needs oxygen as well. They also need to not be under stress to function as efficiently and effectively as possible. Most disease stems from long-term stress. The body cannot fight off disease when it is under constant pressure. Breathing deep takes the pressure off of your organs by giving them a chance to stretch out, and relax as you inflate your stomach.

Deep breathing enables me to find that “zone” state that I need to work at my best. It is hard to tap into your creativity without being in this zone state. Creativity tends to flourish when I am completely relaxed and tuned into a nice flow of positive energy. The zone state is hard to maintain throughout the day. External distractions tend to sway you out of a nice vibration; it is hard to channel your best energy into projects when your environment is working against you. Find the right environment. An environment that acts as an escape from reality, and welcomes in passionate, creative thoughts and ideas.

To enjoy the benefits from deep breathing, you must constantly put in the conscious effort and focus in the initial growing phase. You have to employ these techniques on a consistent basis for them to have any long-term effect. Not deep breathing consistently doesn’t create the autopilot habit in your subconscious mind. After prolonged conscious effort, conscious effort won’t even be necessary. Your natural unconscious breathing pattern will have you taking long, slow breaths without even thinking about breathing. This will help keep you more relaxed, focused, and full of energy throughout the day with minimal effort. At any point you notice tension or stress, it is easy to pause for a few minutes to ground yourself with your breathing. It would be foolish to become a slave to your mind’s negative thoughts, you can just breathe them away with a little effort on your part. 🙂


About TD
Live Consciously, Expand Your Awareness!

10 Responses to Conscious Breathing Techniques to Eliminate Stress and Tension

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  3. ZacharyV says:

    The simple things always have a beautiful impact.

  4. Matt says:

    This technique is quite useful for me and is very necessary at times. Thank you.

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  6. Pingback: Breathing Techniques to Eliminate Stress and Tension « Talesfromthelou's Blog

  7. Pingback: Conscious Breathing « Talesfromthelou's Blog

  8. I started my practice of ‘Focusing on breathing’ (FOB) 10 years back, to reduce the wandering of the mind and reduce my stress. FOB has made a world of difference tome. My meditation has become enjoyable and fruitful. I found that absolute beginners, including children can dramatically enhance their focus on breathing, by using the fingers to track the breaths. The simplest such mode is described below.

    **** TIP MODE: Touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. Breathe in and out three times, counting in the mind, every time you breathe out. During the first out breath count ‘one’, second out breath ‘two’ and during the third out breath ‘three’. Repeat the same steps at each of the next three finger tips. When you are at the thumb, place the tip of the index finger at the base of the thumb and breathe three times. Then switch to the other hand and repeat the same process. Continue practicing, switching the hands. ****

    Five other modes of ‘focusing on breathing’ – Segment mode, Counting mode, Feeling mode, Staring mode and 911 modes, can be seen in this page

    I have been using ‘focusing on breathing’ technique using one or more of the modes, from the time I wake up in the bed and intermittently throughout the day, till I lie down in the bed to sleep. It has become second nature for me. For my daily meditation, I sit on the carpeted floor, cross legged, on the edge of a thin cushion to keep the back erect. I begin by counting my breaths in sets of three and when the mind becomes less distracted, I switch to my mantra. After about 9 years of meditation for about an hour almost every day, followed by simple stretching, I now feel like I have a new mind and body!

  9. In high school I had a band director who was obsessed with diaphragmatic breathing for wind instrument players. No until I was in my twenties did I learn of, and begin to use this kind of breathing for meditation. I am not consistent; I’ve had times when I have forgotten it altogether, but then something, like this post, directs me back. Thanks

  10. Wil says:

    Wonderful article. Thank you.

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