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7 Deep Breathing Exercises That Will Help Reduce Your Stress and Anxiety

breathing exercises reduces anxiety and stress

For over 2,500 years, Yogis and Buddhist claimed breathing influences the focus of the mind, and for the first time, science proves the neurophysiological link between the two.

Deep breathing exercises can be done anywhere and anytime; at work, at home, or even while driving. Although practice is recommended 3 times a day for 10 minutes, it only takes a few moments to stop and drop into your breathing in the midst of your busy life.

Breathing Exercise #1 – Proper Breathing Technique

Most people take short, shallow breaths into their chest, which can contribute to higher stress and anxiety levels. While doing this exercise, make sure the hand on your chest does not rise and fall with your breath

  1. Relax and sit/lie comfortably
  2. Place one hand on your abdomen, in between your naval and rib cage, and the other hand on your chest
  3. Slowly breathe in through your nose and as you inhale, feel your belly expand
  4. Slowly breathe out through your nose and as you exhale, feel your belly contract
  5. Repeat

Breathing Exercise #2 – Common Yoga Breathing Technique

This technique is most commonly used throughout different styles of yoga and is good for calming the breath and mind.

  1. Slowly, deeply, and fully inhale
  2. Pause
  3. Slowly and fully exhale
  4. Pause
  5. Repeat

Breathing Exercise #3 – The Equal Breathing Technique

Use this technique for calm nerves and increased focus. Alter the amount of time you inhale/exhale to what is comfortable, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.

  1. Slowly inhale through your nose for 6 seconds
  2. Slowly exhale through your nose for 6 seconds
  3. Repeat

Breathing Exercise #4 – The Four Count

Simply count to 4, then back to 1 with each breath.

  1. Breathe in – 1
  2. Breathe out – 2
  3. Breathe in – 3
  4. Breathe out – 4
  5. Breathe in – 3
  6. Breathe out – 2
  7. Breathe in – 1
  8. Breathe out – 2
  9. Etc.

Breathing Exercise #5 – The Bellow Breath

If you’re looking to increase your alertness and energy levels, this is the technique for you. It can take some time to get used to, but it will leave you feeling completely invigorated.

  1. Quickly inhale and exhale through your nose in short equal breaths.Aim for 3 inhales and 3 exhales per second.
  2. Continue for 10 seconds and increase your time limit as your perfect your practice

Breathing Exercise #6 – The 4-7-8 Count

This breathing technique quickly calms the nervous system and is good for treating anxiety and insomnia.

  1. Rest the tip of your tongue at the top back of your teeth
  2. Close your mouth and slowly inhale through your nose for 4 seconds
  3. Hold your breath for 7 seconds
  4. Exhale completely for 8 seconds, letting out a verbal sigh as you release
  5. Repeat

Breathing Exercise #7 – The Skull Shining Breath

If you just need to quickly shake off some negative energy, this is the technique you should use.

  1. Take a long, slow breath in
  2. Quickly release a powerful exhale from your diaphram
  3. Repeat

Breathing is the easiest and the most powerful, proven form of therapy. Choose a breathing technique that is right for you and start improving your quality of life.

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