Monday, July 22, 2024

Technique to calm stress and anxiety

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How do you breathe? How do you calm down? How do you meditate? These are some of the questions that actress and yogi Patricia Montero asks the most on her Instagram account.

“Daily stress is something that is present in everyone’s life, but if we don’t have the tools to manage it and/or calm ourselves when it reaches anxiety thresholds, it works against us to feel good, perform and be able to enjoy our day as we would like to.”He says. Specifically in one of his practices he focuses on helping his followers “learn to breathe” through a living practice that focuses on PranayamaThat is, in breathing. In particular, it talks about “square breathing”also called Quadruple breathing or sama vritti.

Montero defines it as a “The pranayama technique is very powerful for calming stress, clearing the mind, and improving relaxation and concentration.”

If the normal breathing process consists of only two stages (inhalation or puraka and exhalation or reshakha), then pranayama truly begins when Deductions.

They explain on the website Always yogawhich “Detentions can be full lung or empty lung.” Specifically, square breathing uses both types. Hence its name: Sama (equal) and Vritti (phase or movement), meaning it consists of 4 breathing phases of the same duration in which the following scheme is followed: Inhalation, complete lung retention, exhalation and empty lung retention.

How to practice it?

Practicing “square” breathing is very simple and requires no more than a few minutes of your time and a quiet place where you can relax. You don’t need mats or clothes for yoga, as you can do it in any situation in your daily life where stress is holding you back: yes, you can also do it in an office chair.

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To practice it, it is recommended to do it sitting in a comfortable position or in a meditation position, with the pelvis supported by the sitting bones and the spine erect. In this position, the body weight is distributed over the center of gravity. Keep your eyes closed and relax your facial features.

Pay full attention to this moment. You can even, as Patricia Montero advises in practice, Draw a square with your hands as you perform the four stages if it helps you keep the process going and not get distracted.

Another thing to keep in mind, especially when holding your breath, is Keep the glottis relaxedThat is, releasing tension from the throat. If you find it difficult to hold your breath, adjust the seconds to which you feel most comfortable, and breathe more or less deeply. But make sure that these times are the same in the four stages.

One of the tips they give from is this “When practicing detentions, it is always advisable, especially when starting, to inhale and exhale at three-quarters of our capacity, so that the detentions, both full and empty, are comfortable.”

They offer another piece of advice: If squaring is too complicated for you, go for it rectangular version, An alternative in which retention is shortened and inhalation and expiration are lengthened.


1. Take several belly breaths to direct your attention to your breathing. Inhale, inflate your belly, then exhale, letting all the air out.

2. When you have finished diaphragmatic breathing, begin square breathing.

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– 1. Inhale 4 times

– 2. Hold the full lung for 4 seconds

– 3. Exhale 4 times

– 4. Hold the empty lung for 4 seconds.

If you can’t hold the breath for 4 seconds, you can do it in 2 or 3 seconds, depending on where you feel most comfortable.

Where is the attention paid?

Believe us, practicing breathing in a square makes all your attention go to that square at this moment. Only by counting the seconds at each stage, you can anchor yourself in the here and now.

You can also direct your attention to the moment when the nostrils flare with each inhalation, and to the heartbeat in the constrictions when the lungs are full…

the benefits

There is no doubt that this practice, although simple and effective, brings many benefits. Most immediate: It helps calm the nervous system and reduce levels of stress and anxiety. Focus on breathing and counting Improves the ability to focus and pay attention This comforts us. This means that this entire sequence of “equals” facilitates a state of deep relaxation.

Hence, this practice is useful not only in moments of high stress, but also in other moments when you need to slow down to be able to rest, such as before bed or to start the day relaxed to better cope when you wake up. .

Other physiological benefits are also obtained from this technique, such as: Improve cerebral oxygenation and gradual relaxation of the diaphragm (To undo those “lumps” in the throat).

As a contraindication, it should be remembered that experts do not recommend it if you are pregnant, due to air retention or after eating very large meals.

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the key

There is no doubt that there is a basic key: Patience and consistency. It can have an immediate effect in a moment of high stress, but if practiced consistently, it indicates an improvement in concentration and now allows you to learn to count to 10 before jumping into the pool which you shouldn’t.

“Square” breathing is a very powerful and accessible tool for managing daily stress and anxiety without having to sign up for a yoga class. By spending just a few minutes, you are improving your well-being on an emotional and mental level, and achieving a greater sense of calm and balance.

And really, it’s worth it.

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