Simple Breathing Exercises

Simple breathing exercises to help ease stress and anxiety.
Breathing exercises to ease stress and anxiety
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Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.

             Conscious breathing is my anchor.” Thich Nhat Hanh

These simple breathing techniques for stress & anxiety can be used anywhere.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise

This technique has immediate benefits on your body, emotions and cognitive thinking. It will help to trigger feelings of relaxation and peace as it resets your nervous system. It will also help treat insomnia.

1.Breathing Exercise.

Locating your diaphragm: Place your fingers just below your ribcage and press gently in. We are going to take 5 big breaths, inhale through your nose & exhale out of your mouth. Note how it moves and feels. This is a really effective way to develop an understanding of how breathing can interact with emotions and feelings.

The diaphragm and your emotions.

Why such an emphasis on the diaphragm you may ask?

Psychologically people tend to use the diaphragm as a “lid” by which they bottle up their “undigested” or unwanted emotions of anger and fear.

2. Breathing exercise for stress & anxiety 4,7,8

This breathing technique is a simple, yet effective method of calming your body and mind. It helps bring the body into a state of deep relaxation. The relaxation practice helps bring the body back into balance & regulate the flight or fight response our body experiences when we feel stressed. This is particularly helpful with what’s happening in the world today. The 4,7,8 can also give your organs and tissues a much-needed oxygen boost. This has been described as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system”.

  • Make yourself as comfortable as you can but also make sure your back is straight to allow your lungs to fill properly. Exhale all the air from the lungs before starting the following steps.
  • Inhale quietly through your nose to the count of 4.
  • Pause your breath for a further count of 7
  • Exhale through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds, while making an audible whoosh sound.
  • Repeat this cycle a total of 4 times

The 4,7,8 breathing technique may make some people feel lightheaded, especially at first, which is why it should be practiced in a safe place. If you are feeling lightheaded or out of breath, simply make the times for the 3 phrases shorter.

This method needs to be practiced at least twice a day to get the full results, but you can practice as many times as you like throughout the day.     

Practicing a regular, mindful breathing exercise can be calming and energising and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.