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7 Breathing Exercises to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

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Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly! You may have already noticed a difference in your mood! 

Your breath is a powerful tool for reducing anxiety and managing stress. Some simple breathing exercises can make a big difference if you make them part of your regular routine.

Are you interested in trying breathing exercises to relieve stress or improve your lung function? I’ve got a detailed list for you.

Keep scrolling!

Breathing Exercises for Anxiety 

Without any delay, let’s have a look at breathing exercises for stress.

1- Deep Breathing Exercise

The majority of people take shallow, short breaths into their chest. It can drain your energy and make you feel anxious. To avoid that, take deep breaths. How? 

  • Make yourself at home. 
  • With a pillow beneath your head and knees, you can lie on your back in bed or on the floor. Alternatively, you can sit in a chair with your shoulders, head, and neck resting against the chair’s back.
  • Inhale deeply through your nose. Allow your stomach to expand.
  • Exhale slowly and deeply through your nose.
  • Put one hand on your stomach. The other hand should be placed on your chest.
  • Feel your belly lift as you inhale. Feel your stomach drop as you exhale. 
  • Repeat deep breaths three more times. 

2- Breath Focus 

Use a mental image and a word or phrase to assist you feel more calm while doing deep breathing. This is called breath focus technique. 

How can you do it? 

  • If your eyes are open, close them.
  • Take a few deep breaths and exhale slowly.
  • Inhale deeply. Imagine that the air is filled with a sense of peace and quiet while you do so. Try to sense it all over your body.
  • Take a deep breath out. Imagine the air leaving with your worry and tension while you’re doing it.
  • Now, with your breath, say a word or phrase. “I breathe in serenity and quiet,” repeat in your thoughts as you inhale.
  • “I breathe out stress and anxiety,” repeat in your thoughts as you exhale.
  • Keep going for another 10 to 20 minutes.

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3- Pursed Lip Breathing

By exerting purposeful effort in each breath, this easy breathing exercise for anxiety causes you to slow down your breathing rate.

At any time, you can practise pursed lip breathing. It’s especially good for activities like bending, lifting, and stair climbing.

How to do it? 

  • Make your neck and shoulders relaxed.
  • Inhale slowly via your nose for 2 counts while keeping your mouth closed.
  • Pucker or purse your lips, as if you are going to whistle. 
  • Exhale slowly for a count of four by blowing air through your pursed lips.

To properly master the breathing rhythm, practise using this breath 4 to 5 times a day when you first start.

4- Diaphragmatic Breathing 

Diaphragmatic breathing is another breathing exercise for stress. It can assist you in effectively using your diaphragm. When you’re feeling relaxed and rested, practise diaphragmatic breathing exercises.

You may feel exhausted at first, but the technique should grow easier and more natural as time goes on.

To perform it: 

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your head propped up on a pillow.
  • For added support, place a pillow under your knees.
  • Allow yourself to feel the movement of your diaphragm by placing one hand on your upper chest and the other below your rib cage.
  • Inhale slowly through your nose, your stomach pressing on your hand.
  • Maintain as much stillness as possible with your other hand.
  • Exhale through your mouth, tightening your stomach muscles while keeping your upper hand steady.

Practise diaphragmatic breathing technique 3 to 4 times each day for 5 to 10 minutes.

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5- Lion’s Breath 

Another beneficial deep breathing technique is lion’s breath. In this exercise you put out your tongue and roar like a lion. It will aid your facial muscles to relax, minimise stress, and improve your cardiovascular performance. 

The exercise is best done in a comfortable seated position with your hands on your knees or the floor, leaning forward slightly.

How do lion’s breath? 

  • Extend your fingers as far as they will go.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose.
  • Extend your tongue down toward your chin by opening your mouth wide and sticking it out.
  • Forcefully exhale, bringing your breath across the root of your tongue.
  • Make a deep “ah” sound from deep within your abdomen while exhaling.
  • For a few moments, breathe normally.
  • Repeat lion’s breath up to seven times.

6- Resonance Breathing 

Coherent breathing, also known as resonance breathing, might help you relax and reduce anxiety. According to a study, resonance breathing combined with yoga reduces depression

You can perform coherent breathing in the following way: 

  • Close your eyes and lie down.
  • Breathe in slowly via your nose, mouth closed, for six seconds. Don’t overfill your lungs with air.
  • Allow your breath to leave your body softly and gently for six seconds, without straining it.
  • Continue for a total of ten minutes.
  • Spend a few more minutes being still and concentrating on how your body feels.

7- Humming Bee Breath 

Another breathing exercise for anxiety is humming bee breath. This breathing practice sensation helps to establish instant tranquillity and is especially relaxing over your forehead. Humming bee breath is used by some people to ease tension, anxiety, and anger. 

To perform it: 

  • Choose a seated position that is comfortable for you.
  • Relax your face by closing your eyes.
  • Place your index and middle fingers on the tragus cartilage, which partially covers your ear canal.
  • Inhale and softly press your fingertips into the cartilage as you exhale.
  • Make a loud buzzing sound with your mouth closed.
  • Carry on for as long as you feel comfortable.

Naturally, you’ll want to practise it somewhere where you can generate a humming sound.

The Takeaway!

Most of these breathing exercises can be tried right away. At least a couple times per week, set aside a specific amount of time. These exercises can be done at any time during the day.If you have any breathing problems, consult your doctor. Consult a pulmonologist via Healthwire.pk, if you wish to learn more about breathing practices.

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