How digital devices dampen our mood: breathing training against stress and irritability
Short-tempered, irritable, annoyed - we all have those days when we are in a bad mood and our mood constantly fluctuates without knowing exactly why. A possible reason for this could be the digital stress that we are exposed to every day.
We'll explain to you how and why breathing exercises can help.
Modern technology requires us to handle a multitude of tasks at the same time and while we are still completing them, new to-dos are added. When we try to do justice to all of this, our brain quickly reaches its limits. This can easily lead to frustration, which in turn affects our mood.
Bad mood due to too much screen consumption
The use of digital devices themselves can also affect our mood. Staring at the displays of smartphones, tablets and PCs for hours puts a lot of strain on our eyes and often even overwhelms them. This can lead to a condition called computer vision syndrome, which causes dry eyes, eye fatigue and headaches. These complaints are not only annoying, but also have a negative impact on our psyche.
Added to this is the blue light that constantly shines on us through screens. This color affects the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Disturbed melatonin production can lead to sleep problems, and those who are tired have less patience, are more unbalanced and more easily irritable.
The brain needs energy
But what can we do about the bad mood? In addition to fixed screen breaks, breathing exercises are an extremely effective method. Because healthy breath forms the energetic basis of our life. In order to work at full speed, our bodies and brains need enough oxygen.
The most effective way to absorb oxygen is to breathe into your stomach in a controlled manner. This causes the diaphragm, our largest breathing muscle, to move. The abdomen bulges outward, giving the lungs room to expand and fill with oxygen. We can breathe in and out more deeply and the heart rate drops. This not only increases general energy, but also relaxes us, which also has a positive effect on our mood.
Breath as a place of calm for our brain
At the same time, abdominal breathing also regulates the stress response in our brain by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of our nervous system that is responsible for rest and relaxation. When we breathe calmly and deeply, we signal to our body that there is no acute danger. The parasympathetic nervous system can have a calming effect. This leads to noticeable relaxation and helps to alleviate irritability. And best of all: we can breathe in any situation.
Breathing training for more calm
Together with Luise Walther, a specialist in new training, we have put together breathing exercises that can help you in everyday life to release inner tension and better manage stress.
Exercise 1: Diaphragm stretch
Stand upright, take the tension out of your knees and tilt your pubic bone towards your belly button. Inhale deeply through your nose and lift your arms up. Open your mouth and breathe out once, maximally through the open mouth.
Exercise 2: Focused breathing with the Super Band
Tie the Super Band around your ribcage. Breathe in and out through your nose evenly against the resistance of the band for at least two minutes. If breathing is comfortable, you can do this exercise for a maximum of thirty minutes.
Exercise 3: Sigh breathing with the relaxer
Take the relaxer loosely between your lips. Breathe in maximally through your nose, draw in air twice more and then breathe out maximally, slowly and evenly, through your mouth using the relaxer.
Exercise 4: Lymphatic breathing
Stand upright. Place your right hand under your right collarbone and apply light pressure. As you breathe in, push the skin and tissue slightly up towards your shoulder and as you breathe out, push them back down towards your breastbone. Repeat again and then switch sides.