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6 Beginner Breathing Exercises To Reduce Stress

6 Beginner Breathing Exercises To Reduce Stress

With work, studies, kids and that never-ending to-do list, stress has a way of creeping in. Breathing is proven to reduce stress and anxiety when the right techniques are used. We have put together a list of 6 easy breathing exercises that you could do when feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Pursed Lip Breathing
This simple breathing technique will assist you in breathing deeply and more intentionally. It will especially help with activities such as bending or climbing stairs.
  1. Sit up straight with relaxed shoulders and neck
  2. With your mouth closed, inhale slowly and deeply through your nose.
  3. Exhale out of your mouth with your lips puckered as if you are about to whistle.
  4. Keep your breath slow and steady as you are breathing out. Try this 10-15 times.
Resonance Breathing
This breathing exercise can help with getting you into a relaxed state and reduce anxiety.
  1. Lie on your back and close your eyes
  2. Breathe in through your nose with your mouth closed for a six-second count.
  3. Exhale for another count of 6 making sure to let your breath leave your body slowly without any force.
  4. Repeat this for 10 minutes and then try and be as still as possible and notice how your body feels.
Box Breath
After a stressful situation, this technique can help greatly with bringing the breath to its normal state.
  1. Exhale for 4 seconds.
  2. Keep your lungs empty for another 4 seconds.
  3. Inhale for 4 seconds.
  4. Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
  5. Repeat this pattern at least 3-4 times.
Lion's Breath
The benefit of this exercise is that it helps relax the muscles in your face and jaw. This technique also helps alleviate stress and helps with heart function.
  1. Sitting in a comfortable seat with your knees and hands on the floor, spread your fingers on the ground as wide as possible.
  2. Inhale deeply through your nose.
  3. Open your mouth wide and then stick out your tongue while stretching it down toward your chin.
  4. Exhale with force carrying the breath out from the back of your throat.
  5. While you exhale, make a "ha" sound that comes deep from within your core.
  6. Breathe normally for a few seconds.
  7. Repeat the lion's breath for about seven cycles.
Deep Breathing
With stress and anxiety, some people experience shortness of breath. This exercise aids in making you feel more centred and helps your lungs get in more fresh air.
  1. While standing up straight or sitting down, bring your elbows back slightly to open up your chest.
  2. Inhale deeply through your nose.
  3. Hold your breath for 5 seconds.
  4. Slowly release your breath by exhaling through your nose.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
This breathing practice directly targets relaxation. It is also known to help with heart function and lower your heart rate. Make sure to avoid this practice if you are feeling sick or congested.
  1. Find a nice comfortable seated position
  2. Lift your right hand to your nose while pressing your index, middle finger and ring fingers down into your palm.
  3. Release all the air in your lungs and close your right nostril with your right thumb.
  4. Inhale deeply through your left nostril
  5. Close your left nostril with your right pinky finger and release your thumb from your right nostril.
  6. Exhale through your right nostril.
  7. Repeat this cycle for 5 minutes by alternating the breath between nostrils.
These breathing techniques work wonders for stressful situations when you are feeling overwhelmed or just need a moment to relax. By practising these exercises, you will be able to regulate your breath and heart rate more easily. Before you know it, you will be able to regulate on your own and only utilize these techniques when really needed!

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