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Breathing Exercises That Can Instantly Relieve Stress

Science has proven repeatedly that breathing exercises are effective for stress relief. No matter how hard we try to relax, somehow, stress does creep upon us. Having a few breathing exercises memorized is excellent in these situations to get through the day.

Focused Breathing

Stress affects the quality of your breathing. When you take deep, focused breaths, your stress slowly fades away.

To perform focused breathing, get into a comfortable position. Lie down if you are in your room, but it’s okay to sit at your desk when you are at work. Now, focus on the way you are breathing. Are you taking shallow breaths? Deep breaths? Or are your breaths irregularly paced?

Perform these exercises a few times every day to understand how your breathing changes in response to stress. If you ever catch your breaths becoming irregular through the day, you can catch yourself and recognize that you are under stress. You can then focus on breathing normally and pushing your body out of stress.

Slow Breathing

Slow, regular breaths are also an excellent way to release stress from your body. By practicing slow breaths, you can also increase the air capacity of your lungs and take deeper breaths subconsciously.

Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Rest your tongue against the roof of your mouth and start inhaling. Visualize relaxing scenarios—think of the blue sky and a vast garden expanding in front of you. Feel the fresh air automatically drawn to you. Once you have inhaled enough, count down to five.

After that, slowly release the air from your mouth. Count to ten, slowly, as you release. Do not let the air escape all at once. Visualize the stress leaving your body with the air. Repeat this exercise for 8-10 breaths every day to make your breathing regular and relieve your body of stress.

4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

A variation of the slow breathing exercise is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. The concept is very similar to slow breathing. Get into a comfortable position and take a deep breath. Slowly count to four as you inhale. Then, hold your breath for 7 seconds. After that, slowly release your breath to the count of 8.

Breathing From The Belly

Belly breathing is a very basic and easy exercise to practice deep breathing and lets you control your stress response. It is a variation of the slow breathing exercise that involves your belly.

Lie down in a comfortable position and place one hand on your chest and one on your belly. Inhale deeply, involving your lungs and your belly. Feel your belly being inflated as your hand moves with it. Try not to let your chest move. Slowly release your breath and deflate your belly. Repeat this 8-10 times.

Breathing Through Alternative Nostrils

One of the oldest known breathing exercises involves breathing through alternative nostrils. It has been popular among Yoga enthusiasts for years now and is highly effective.

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and use the tip of your index finger to pinch the side of your nose, blocking your left nostril. Breathe deeply through your right nostril. Then, block your right nostril and breathe through the rest. Do this 10 times.

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