Have you ever thought about how the way you breathe can affect your level of relaxation? The next time you feel relaxed, take notice of how your body feels. The goal of the following breathing exercises is to get you to this relaxed state, where you feel less stress.

Exhale the Stress Away

Breathing Exercises for StressBelly Breathing

This is a simple breathing exercise for relief from stress. You can do it anytime. Start by sitting comfortably or lying flat. Put one hand on your chest and one hand just under your ribs on your belly.

Breathe in deeply through your nose and feel your belly push your hand out. Do not move your chest. Then breathe out through pressed lips, like you are whistling. Feel your belly goes in and use your belly to push the air out.

Repeat this exercise up to 10 times. There is no rush; take your time. Take stock of how you feel when you have finished.

4-7-8 Breathing

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a more advanced version of belly breathing. Be comfortably sitting or lying flat. Position your hands as you did in the belly breathing exercise, with one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly.

Breathe in deeply from your belly, counting to 4 in your head as you do so. Then hold your breath for 7 counts. Next, breathe out fully, counting from 1-8 as you do so. By the time you reach the count of 8, you should have let all of the air out.

Repeat this breathing exercise up to 7 times, taking your time, until you feel at ease. Make a mental note of how you feel and the reduction of stress.

About Breathing and Stress

When you feel stressed, your breathing tends to increase, become shallow, and your heart rate speeds up. Breathing exercises can calm you and bring relief from stress, all without requiring any special equipment.

Breathing Exercises for Stress Videos

References:

 6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less

Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response