Deep Breathing Exercises – Relaxation Techniques for Truck Drivers

As a professional truck driver, you’ll become accustomed to all sorts of occupational stressors. I know you know what I’m talking about – being cut off by rude 4-wheelers, driving in inclement weather conditions, worrying about making it to a consignee on time, and avoiding getting lost… The list goes on and on, and unfortunately, most of these things are routine parts of the trucking industry. Becoming frustrated with them is normal, but it’s important not to let the stress take over as it can lead to sickness and disease, premature aging (like we want to accelerate that any more), insomnia, ulcers, and high blood pressure. Yikes! Who knew a little stress could mess us up so much?!

Fortunately, there are a couple things you can do to unwind after a particularly taxing day of driving. Today, we’re going to talk about a simple relaxation method that you can do anywhere, anytime – deep breathing exercises! Yep, that’s it – breathing. The thing you do on a day-to-day basis to survive. Only the kind of breathing we’re going to discuss is a little different. It’s called deep breathing and it helps to clear our minds, increase our energy and endorphin levels, relax our muscles, and increase our oxygen intake and blood flow.

Day to Day Breathing

To fully understand the impact deep breathing exercises can have on our mental health, it’s important that we first learn about how most people breathe. You see, most of us are “chest breathers.” That is, instead of taking in deep breaths through the diaphragm, we breathe shallow and rapidly through our chests. Shallow breathing does not expand the lungs to their full capacity.

Deep breathing, on the other hand, allows us to completely fill our lungs with air by contracting the diaphragm. Deep breathing is a great way to calm yourself down and relieve some stress. Watch the video below for a demonstration on deep breathing technique.

How to do Deep Breathing Exercises

To begin deep breathing exercises, place one hand on your upper belly (your diaphragm) and one on your chest. Inhale slowly through your nose for five seconds. The hand on your stomach should be rising while the hand on your chest stays relatively still. Hold the breath for about five seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth for another five seconds. Don’t expel the breath out with force, just naturally and slowly breathe out. Repeat this process for two minutes, and you should notice a significant change in how relaxed you feel.

Next time you get cut off or stuck in a traffic jam, relieve your frustration with some simple deep breaths! You’ll be amazed how much calmer you’ll feel after just five minutes of focused breathing. Deep breathing is a great simple stress reliever because you can do it while you’re driving and you don’t need any sort of fancy equipment!

What stress relief methods have worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments below!


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About Derek McClain

Derek McClain is a blogger with TheHealthyTrucker.net and co-host of the Mile Markers show. Derek has worked in the Internet & Technology industry for over 7 years dedicating last few years to writing about truck driving jobs and careers. McClain has always had a passion for exercise and fitness so with truck driver health becoming such a hot topic in the industry, it just made sense to work with TheHealthyTrucker.net. You can Connect with Derek on Google+ here