Mental health and wellbeing is very close to our hearts, and while we truly aim to have an always-on approach to covering all aspects of mental health, we have chosen to shine an extra bright light on #WorldMentalHealth today, and for the rest of the year.
We bring you The Big Burn Out — a content series made up of honest personal essays, expert advice and practical recommendations.
It may sound cliché, but when I'm really stressed out, I like to find a quiet area and meditate for a few minutes. There are so many different kinds of meditation you can do, but there's one in particular I love, and it's the same one I recommend to my clients.
This breathing exercise is called Nadi Shodhana, and it's usually referred to as alternate nostril breathing. It's a powerful technique that can help you relax the mind, calm the nervous system, and clear your nasal circulation. This is how it's done.
- Take a comfortable, tall seat with your spine straight.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths through both nostrils.
- With your right hand, rest your index finger and middle finger in between your eyebrows as a light anchor.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly through only your left nostril for a count of five.
- Before you exhale, pause. Release your right nostril and close your left nostril with your ring finger.
- Exhale slowly through your right nostril for a count of five.
- Pause at the bottom of the exhale.
- Inhale through your right nostril for a slow count of five.
- Pause at the top of the inhale, release your left nostril, and close your right nostril.
- Exhale slowly for a count of five through your left nostril.
- This time, inhale through your left nostril, and so on and so forth.
- Repeat this five to 10 times, breathing as slowly as possible.
It might be very difficult at first to breathe that slowly, but you'll get used to it after a while. You can do this exercise anytime you feel stressed out or anxious.