Teachers, you’ve been having difficult days during the past two years of this global pandemic. Let this year be especially challenging. There’s a basic skill you can learn and use at any time. Navigate pressures with ease with these top breathing exercises for teachers.
Deep breathing allows you to think more clearly. You feel and act better when you think more clearly.
Breathing techniques bring the body into a state of deep relaxation by slowing its pace. As you apply deliberate effort in each breath, it sends a message to your brain to calm down. The brain likewise transmits this message to your body telling it to relax.
By moving oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of the lungs, breathing techniques help to keep airways open longer so that you can remove the air that is trapped in your lungs. Within just a few short minutes, you will notice results and feel relieved.
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The Key to a Good Start
The top breathing exercises for teachers are proven to combat the stress associated with teaching. The fast breathing that increases heart rate and high blood pressure all decreases as you breathe deeply to relax.
While it doesn’t take much time and effort to reap the benefits of proper breathing, consistency is essential. Even practicing 5 minutes each day will give a difference over the course of a week, a month, or a year. The more you practice right breathing, the more this skill will prepare you and your body to manage crucial occasions.
- Begin with just 2 minutes a day. As you become comfortable with the exercise, increase your time to 5 minutes or more.
- If you feel adding a few minutes sounds too long at this point, maintain with just 2 minutes.
- Make it a habit to practice breathing in the morning, in the evening, and then multiple times a day. Scheduling breathing time trains your mind to practice and becomes easier as you feel the need.
We have five different breathing exercises to relieve stress or anxiety. The great thing is it strengthens the lungs. You will thank yourself for listening to your body and choosing the art of breathing to help save and improve general wellness.
Top Breathing Exercises for Teachers
1) Pursed Lip Breathing
Pursed lip breathing is drawing breath slowly through your nose while keeping your mouth closed. It is a technique that allows you to gain more control of your breath. This is particularly helpful if you have asthma or other lung conditions where at times you encounter difficulty or shortness of breath.
- Begin by relaxing your neck and shoulders.
- With your mouth closed, inhale through your nose for 2 counts.
- Purse your lips as if you are preparing to whistle.
- Then breathe out slowly by blowing air through your pursed lips for a count of 4.
- Repeat 3 to 4 times.
The pursed-lip breathing exercise relieves tension by neutralizing the breath rate. It helps keep your airways open longer by moving carbon dioxide, (old air) trapped in the lungs out and making room for new, fresh oxygen. It’s the quickest way to slow the pace of breathing, making inhaling and exhaling significantly easier.
2) Abdominal or “Belly” Breathing
Whenever you feel short of breath, breathing from the diaphragm draws oxygen all the way down into your lungs. As you engage the abdominal muscles and get better control of your breath, it helps get more oxygen into the lungs and relaxes you.
- Sit or lie flat in a position you find most comfortable.
- Place one of your hands on your belly and the other hand on the chest.
- Gently inhale through your nose (not in the mouth). Feel your belly as it pushes your hand out.
- Now exhale through the mouth (as if you were whistling) gently pushing all the air out. Feel the hand on your belly go in.
- Repeat the breathing steps 3, 7, or 10 times.
- Feel how your body feels at the end of the exercise.
Talking a lot is stressful. Belly breathing reinforces the diaphragm, an important muscle that enables you to breathe. An increased supply of blood and nutrients on the body lowers the harmful effects of the stress hormone cortisol and relaxes muscle spasms.
3) 4-7-8 Breathing
The 4-7-8 breathing is a specific pattern that involves holding the breath for a while to replenish oxygen. When practiced consistently, breathing from the lungs outward can give your organs and tissues a boost of oxygen that could help you fall asleep in a short time. You can do the 4-7-8 breathing exercise sitting or lying down.
- Part your lips apart and with a swooshing sound exhale completely through your mouth.
- Now slowly inhale through your nose silently counting to 4 as you breathe in.
- Then, for seven seconds, hold your breath. You can count up to 7.
- With another swooshing sound, slowly exhale from your mouth and release all the air out of your lungs by the time you count to 8.
- Practice regularly and feel how your body feels at the end of the exercise.
This exercise activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of relaxation. As a result, it allows the body to fight and respond to stress. With improved sleep, anxiety is reduced. When your body is rich in sleep, it helps improve memory as well.
4) The Lion’s Breath (Lion’s Pose)
This technique is a famous yoga breathing practice that is said to get rid of toxins and stimulate the throat and upper chest. Since it mimics the pose of a lion, it benefits the thyroid. In yoga, it energizes the fifth chakra or the center of energy which is the seat of creativity, communication, and expression.
- Sit on the floor comfortably either you sit back on your heels or with legs crossed.
- With your eyes wide open, breathe deeply through the nose.
- Simultaneously open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue with the tip down toward your chin.
- Gently contract the muscles at the front of your throat as you exhale out through your mouth.
- As you do the actions, make a long “hah” sound.
- Do a total of 3 to 4 cycles.
Teaching can dry the mouth and your throat to tickle, or worst, irritated. This breathing exercise helps clear your throat. Did you know that Lion’s Breath not only stretches the jaw muscles but is also useful for speaking and concentration? Yes, and it’s an energy-drawing breath that eases the mind and boosts confidence.
5) Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This technique incorporates tensing of a muscle group and then relaxing them. Progressive muscle relaxation can help you relax both physically and mentally. Here, you can tense each muscle group – the feet, calves, knees, belly, chest, shoulders, arms, neck, and face for about 5 seconds.
- Lie on the floor in a convenient position.
- To begin, give yourself a few deep relaxing breaths.
- Now breathe in and gently tense the muscles of your feet.
- Breathe out and release the tension.
- Breathe in and this time tense the muscles in your calves.
- Breathe out and let go.
- Do the same process as you work up your body.
You tend to carry tension in your neck, shoulders, and feet. The blend of muscle relaxation and breathing eases neck pain and low back pain. It also reduces emotional stress. Overall, it will give you quality sleep.
Practice the breathing exercises above with care. If you experience any discomfort or even a single pain during a session, be calm and immediately cease the activity. Seek professional help for the best advice.
Are you also thinking of meditation? Watch this video for beginning tips.
There are a number ways of breathing exercises that can help relax. But they don’t have to take a lot of time out of your day. The speed with which you do a breathing exercise does not matter. It’s the time that you wholeheartedly set aside to pay attention to your breathing.
The five exercises above are so far the easiest to do. You deserve to be healthy. If you have never done breathing exercises yet, let any of these five exercises lead you to the best state of health.