TAKE A BREATHING BREAK
‘Meditating can be hard when you’re stressed. I often find it hard to quieten my thoughts, so I try mindful breathing instead,’ says Kaia Roman, author of The Joy Plan: How I took 30 Days to Stop Worrying, Quit Complaining, and Find Ridiculous Happiness (Sourcebooks, £25.99). According to the Harvard Health Blog, deep, slow breathing is the oldest, best-known technique to decrease stress, and may help lower blood pressure.
Square Breath: Breathe in to a count of four, hold the breath for a count of four, breathe out to a count of four, and wait for a count of four before breathing again.
Sphere Breath: Put your fingertips together to form a sphere with your two hands. As you inhale, inflate the sphere. As you exhale, flatten it. Imagine your belly filling with air as your hands form a sphere.
Shoulder Roll Breath: Take a deep breath in through your nose as you roll your shoulders up to your ears. Roll your shoulders down as you breathe out through your mouth. Repeat slowly in a continuous movement.
Mountain Breath: Stand and, as you inhale through your nose, raise your arms as high as you can and bring your palms together over your head. Imagine you’re as tall as a mountain. Exhale through your mouth, bringing your palms together in front of your chest.