Breathing Exercises for Students

Stress is common for students, but there are ways to feel more at ease through regular breathing exercises shown in this guide.

Meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing have long been associated with improving mental health. For students, taking care of their mental health is an absolute priority during an extremely stressful time, especially during peak exam season. How can they heighten their mental well-being in the midst of their pent-up stress? By trying out breathing exercises and mindful techniques!

Of course, inhaling and exhaling properly sounds easy, but there’s actually a lot more to it when it comes to deep breathing and mindful exercises. Knowing where to start can be tricky, but fear not, for here is a guide geared towards students looking to implement mindful breathing techniques into their life.

1. The Deep Belly Breath

This exercise is a good one to start with because it allows for long, deep belly breaths and is also great for mindfulness since it lets you rest your hand on your belly to feel your breath moving in and out. In fact, this movement can be useful for grounding you while you’re practising your breathing.

To begin, place your hands on your belly, close your eyes and take a long deep breath through your nose. Hold your breath for a moment, feeling your belly full of air as you wait, and then exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling the ‘balloon’ in your belly deflate as the air leaves your lungs.

2. Mindful Breathing

Mindfulness is all about paying attention to the here and now and the sights, sounds and sensations around you. When it comes to mindful breathing, it’s about how your breathing feels and sounds.

To try mindful breathing, set yourself up in a quiet, safe space where you won’t be interrupted. Start by closing your eyes and taking deep breaths in and out, with a long inhalation through your nose and a long exhalation out of your mouth.

While doing these slow, deep breaths, you should pay attention to everything you’re feeling. How does your breath sound? How does it feel when your breath fills your lungs, and how does it feel when you let it out? Are there any other sensations you experience? Take your time in evaluating and accepting your feelings and thoughts as you gently ride each breath – and don’t fight them; simply let them be.

3. Releasing The Tension

There’s a reason that exercises like yoga and pilates focus so much on correct breathing techniques. When practising stretches and releasing muscle tension, breathing goes hand-in-hand. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed with your studies, you might want to relieve the tension from your whole body – and you can do this with breathing exercises.

Lay down in a comfortable place and focus on every area of your body as you settle into a state of relaxation. Next, take a deep breath, holding it in as you curl your toes up and stretch out your entire body. Afterwards, release your breath slowly as you uncurl your toes and relax your muscles.

In addition, you can do exercise while focusing on different areas of your body, making sure to breathe deeply and mindfully as you work your way through each body part that needs relief from tension.

Final Thoughts

Breathing exercises can help you feel calmer and more collected; however, they can only do so much. If your stress levels are getting out of hand and last a long time, you should see your doctor. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and you need to take care of it if you want to remain in good form.

Naturally, students are busy people and can’t always find the time to go to a GP right away, which is why GP online services can be a good first port of call for those with hectic schedules. There are also student health services available for those that need them, so use them if you feel like your mental health has declined – that’s what they’re there for.

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