“Mindfulness” may seem a curious term for folks who are a bit more traditional. But, science suggests that the benefits are real. The concept basically states that people are overwhelmed by life’s daily stresses, and relaxation techniques can refocus attention for improved health.
It’s no secret that nurses and medical workers have particularly high-pressure jobs. Here are three breathing exercises to help you to stay positive throughout the hectic work day:
Who says you need access to an exotic beach or yoga studio to meditate? Many healthcare professionals actually find ways to practice relaxation techniques during break periods. Even 10 minutes of mindful breathing can lower stress levels.
Try to find a nice seat in a quiet location. Some hospitals and medical facilities have waiting areas and lounges that are underutilized and secluded. Once you’ve identified a good spot, you can close your eyes and begin the routine.
Simply sit in a comfortable but upright position and begin breathing. A common technique is to slowly breathe in through your nose using a three count. You then hold your breath for two seconds and slowly exhale through your mouth to a four count. The idea is to focus on the act of breathing itself, ignoring all outside thoughts and entering a semi-hypnotic state.
If you’re blessed to work at a hospital or facility with on-premises trails or nature areas, then consider meditation-focused walks. You’ll find benefit both in the relaxation techniques and additional exercise!
Adapting breathing exercises to walking isn’t rocket science, and the objective is the same as with seated meditation. Try incorporating the breathing routine referenced above while coordinating breath patterns with your footsteps. This may take some experimentation and require shorter inhale/exhale timeframes, but it’s not too difficult to master.
Breathing Exercises & Music
Some people find certain songs very relaxing, and there’s science to back it up. Why not blend breathing exercises with music? This approach is particularly great for louder and public locations, since noise-canceling headphones help the listener ignore outside influences.
There are many free and affordable mindful-music resources available, including the Pandora phone app and Spotify. Just be sure to select playlists focused on relaxation and/or breathing exercises. Avoid upbeat tempos and bass-heavy tracks.
It’s important for all workers to incorporate relaxation techniques into their daily schedule. However, the unique duties of healthcare professionals and nurses are particularly stressful. While there’s no way to eliminate all of life’s pressures, simple breathing exercises are scientifically proven to help!
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