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Take a Deep Breath: Tips for Relieving Stress

woman meditating

Feeling stressed? Sometimes, all you need to do is take a deep breath.

People deal with stress in all sorts of unhealthy ways. They “stress eat,” which essentially means they turn to food – a maneuver which usually leaves them feeling guilty and bloated. Some people let their emotions get the better of them and explode with anger. Sometimes, they ignore the stress until it comes knocking in the form of a serious health condition like a heart attack or anxiety.

Discover more stress relief tips.

When stress seems overwhelming, here’s a quick fix: take a deep breath. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by sitting comfortably. Relax your back and shoulder muscles.
  2. Next, take the deepest inhale through your nose that you can.
  3. Then, let your lower stomach muscles rise and feel your ribs expand.
  4. Finish by holding this inhale for a few seconds and then, very slowly, begin to exhale.

When you take a deep breath, also take your time. Repeat this exercise a few more times and feel the change in your stress level. Challenge yourself to do this exercise several times a day at regular intervals. One easy way to fit it into your schedule is to do it before you sit down to a meal. You may find you’re no longer stress eating and able to feel full before you eat too much.

Advice or recommendations are for informational or educational purposes only, not a substitute for a visit or consultation with your doctor.

Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.


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WellTuned provides inspiration and practical advice for healthy living.
WellTuned does not offer medical advice. Any personal health questions should be addressed to your doctor.

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