Best Breathing Exercises To Try: For Stress Relief, Wellbeing & Relaxation | Win Your Week #47

Best Breathing Exercises To Try: For Stress Relief, Wellbeing & Relaxation | Win Your Week #47

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“Taking a deep breath” is one of the easiest and most effective ways to relieve stress. When we take a slow inhale through the nose and a long exhale through the mouth, this signals to the brain and body that we’re safe, and that it’s okay to calm down. Within a matter of seconds, we start to feel more relaxed.

What exactly are breathing exercises?

Deep-breathing exercises can be done anywhere, at any time, and they can be used when we need them, or they can be practised on a daily or weekly basis. Tacking a new habit onto an existing routine makes it easier to add into our day.

The first step to a regular practice is to get comfy. Notice your body and all the sensations you feel. Make sure the back and neck are straight to make it as easy as possible to breathe. Close the eyes if it feels safe or gaze softly downward.

Next, pay attention to the breath. Is it long? Short? Deep? Shallow? Do we feel it in the nose or throat? Chest or belly? There is no right answer, we’re simply becoming more aware of how our breath works and makes us feel. To take our awareness to the next level, we can notice throughout the day where and when we tend to hold our breath and when it feels relaxed.

Beginner? Take five deep breaths.

The simplest breathing technique is to count our breaths. Start by counting 1 on the slow inhale through the nose, 2 on the long exhale through the mouth, 3 on the inhale, 4 on the exhale, 5 on the inhale and release. 

Racing mind? Lengthen each exhale.

Making your exhales longer than your inhales slows down your heart rate and thoughts. Breathe in slowly through the nose to the count of 3, then exhale through the mouth to the count of 6. If 3 and 6 are too long, try 2 and 4 breaths. Or to extend the exhale longer, try 4 and 8 breaths.

Anxious? Try belly breathing.

You’re not actually breathing into your belly here, but the belly will puff out when you fill up your lungs. It might be helpful to place a hand on the stomach so you can feel how it rises and falls when you direct the breath there. Slowly breathe in through the nose and feel the belly push out. Slowly exhale through the mouth and feel the belly draw inwards.

Over to you…

Try the different breathing exercises and see which one/s you like the most. Then, you can use them as tools to help take control of your breath when everything around you feels out of control.

We hope you give these a try and find some stress relief from them.

Now go out and win your week!