on Aug 17, 21

Your Ultimate Guide to Breathing Exercises for Relaxation

With all that is happening in the world, people are getting more and more stressed. There are so many sources of stress that we encounter in our everyday lives including relationship issues, traffic jams, money problems, job issues, and many more. If we are not careful, stress can take a toll on our lives and lower our quality of life.

Fortunately, doing breathing exercises is a healthier and most effective way to deal with stress. When you do these exercises, a message is sent to the brain that invokes relaxation and calmness. The brain then relays this message to your body and this can prevent you from experiencing fast breaths, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate.

Importance of Stress Management

While we can’t avoid all stress sources in our lives, we can develop healthier ways to deal with them. Having effective stress management helps in preventing stress and helps you to regain back control over your life. 

When done correctly, you can be more productive, healthier, and happier. The goal of stress management is for you to have a well-balanced life and hold up to challenges and pressures. Though there is no single effective way to do it, breathing exercises are proven effective at managing stress.

Breathing Exercises

There are numerous breathing techniques for stress that you can do anywhere to improve your quality of life. Below are some exercises that take just a few minutes and can help reduce your everyday stress and improve your overall wellbeing.

  1. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a simple but powerful breathing exercise that focuses on full breaths. This is more natural compared to other breathing exercises since it requires you to feel comfortable doing deep breaths.  This is similar to a doctor asking you to do deep breaths during a check-up and it works best with stress management since your breath and mind are fully engaged. 

How to do it:

  1. Sit comfortably and ensure that your back is straight.
  2. Breathe in through your nose until the air has filled your belly.
  3. Slowly breathe out through your nose.
  4. Place a hand over your chest and the other one over your belly. Breathe in again.
  5. The hand over your belly should rise higher than the one over your chest.
  6. Breathe out and touch your belly as it falls.
  7. Do this 3 more times. 
  1. 4-7-8 Method

Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, often shares this breathing method. He believes that this exercise not only reduces stress but also helps people get quality sleep. Also known as the relaxing breath, this breathing technique can act as a natural tranquilizer for your nervous system.

How to do it:

  1. Sit comfortably with your back straight and place the tip of your tongue on the ridge on the upper part of your front teeth.
  2. Completely exhale through your mouth.
  3. Count up to 4 and deeply breathe in through your nose at the same time.
  4. Your belly should enlarge.
  5. Count until 7 and hold your deep breath at the same time.
  6. Count until 8 and slowly breathe out through your mouth.
  7. Do this 4 more times.
  1. Pursed-Lips Breathing

This breathing exercise will help you to breathe more slowly and intentionally. It can help make your breath more effective and is believed to work best for people suffering from anxiety and lung diseases.

 How to do it:

  1. Loosen up your neck and shoulders. 
  2. Slowly inhale through your nose for 2 seconds and keep your mouth closed. No need to do deep breathing and just breathe normally.
  3. Breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds. You should pucker your mouth similar to giving a kiss while breathing out. 
  4. Keep your breathing slow and steady while exhaling. Do not put much pressure on breathing.
  1. Breath Focus

Fully concentrating on your breathing can help eliminate your worries. With this breathing technique, you will solely focus on breathing and filling your lungs.

How to do it:

  1. Take several deep breaths for preparation.
  2. Then take a slow deep breath using your nose.
  3. While breathing, imagine you are taking in calmness and positivity.
  4. When you exhale, imagine you are breathing all the stress and negativities.
  5. Exhale in any way that you feel most comfortable. For instance, you can choose to focus on a specific word when exhaling.
  6. Do this for up to 20 minutes if possible.
  1. Balanced Breaths

Doing balanced breaths exercises will allow you to focus on your breathing. It also aids in maintaining balance in the respiratory system by inhaling and exhaling at the same count. You can also increase the number you inhale and exhale. 

How to do it:

  1. Breathe in and slowly count up to 5.
  2. Breathe out and slowly count up to 5.
  3. Do this for a few minutes.


If you are stressed or are experiencing anxiety, doing any of the above exercises can help alleviate the systems and give you control over your life. Breathing is one of the best ways to prevent stress from taking a toll on your body. Just ensure that you listen to your body and practice the techniques mindfully. If symptoms persist, don’t hesitate to consult a medical doctor or mental health practitioner.


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