If life seems kind of overwhelming lately, stop and take a deep breath in. Now slowly exhale. Notice any difference? Your breath is one of the most powerful tools that you have to help reduce stress and overwhelm. When you take a deep breath, it sends a signal to your brain that it’s okay to calm down and relax. Then your brain transmits this message to your body. There’s lots of different ways to practice easy breathing techniques for stress that will help you to feel so much better.
Breathing techniques are very simple to do. First find a quiet place if you can, like a chair. Try to relax. Then you’ll inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, then exhale out your mouth. Another easy breathing technique is belly breathing, where you hold one hand on your stomach and focus on the sensations as you inhale and exhale.
As you get more experienced with practicing these simple breathing techniques, they will become more and more natural to you. You’ll remember to do them any time and place that you’re feeling stressed out.
4-7-8 Breathing Technique
One of the many problems with stress is that it gives us a really short fuse. And that makes it harder to be kind and patient with those closes to us! Letting that anger out is rarely helpful. Instead, walk away and practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It’s really pretty simple!
- Breathe in for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breathe for 7 seconds.
- Exhale for 8 seconds.
- Repeat once or twice.
It may not seem like much, but you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel! While it may not do much to treat chronic stress in the long run, it is a quick distraction for your mind and an effective strategy to calm down quickly.
Try a Breathing Meditation
Breathing meditation techniques are very beneficial to know. They’re a very effective treatment to reduce anxiety and stress. Not only that, but they’re easy to do and you can do them anywhere…while waiting in your car, at the office, or standing in line anywhere. The basic idea is to take a few minutes to sit (or stand) quietly, with your eyes closed (if practical) focusing your mind only on your breath. Feel the air flowing in and out of your nose and try not to think of about anything else.
It’s very effective breathing technique once you get the hang of it. It does take practice, but do give it a try.
Deep Abdominal Breathing
Get in a quiet place, place your hands on your abdomen. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Try to completely expel the air.
Alternate nostril breathing
While sitting on the floor is optimal, you can also do this in the car.
- Place the thumb of your right hand on your right nostril and press firmly. Take in a breathe through your left nostril.
- Place the ring finger of your right hand on your left nostril and press firmly. Remove your right thumb from your right nostril and slowly breathe out.
Sit in a comfortable position, either at your desk or on the floor with your spine straight. Breathe in and out for equal counts, ranging from 1-4. Once you’re comfortable, you might try it for a bit longer.
Daily Breath Awareness
Schedule a 5 minute breath awareness during a quiet time of the day. Turn everything off, tune out and just focus on your natural breathing pattern. You can even do this in 1 minute breaks if that’s all you’ve got. Being conscious of your breathing will reduce anxiety, soothe emotions and even boost your energy.
Breathing exercises of any time will help to sooth frazzled nervous symptoms. I hope you’ll give these techniques a try!
Do you have any favorite breathing exercises for stress that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them!