When stressed, your brain activates your fight or flight response.
When stressed for a long time, we develop anxiety.
A great way of fighting anxiety and feeling better is to use breathing techniques that ground us and focus us on the present moment.
Today we bring you 4 breathing techniques for stress and anxiety that will help you relax, breathe better, and feel centered.
A lion’s breath is great to cast anxiety away
You don’t need to be a lion to make the most of this simple breathing exercise for anxiety. Get your share of confidence from this empowering technique as well as a surprising list of other benefits.
This breathing technique alleviates stress and symptoms of anxiety, helping you feel relaxed and calm.
It’s a quick and easy breathing technique that anyone can do, no yoga teacher required.
Lion’s breath also helps you grow your confidence while fighting self-consciousness.
Some studies even suggest it may improve conditions like asthma and COPD.
People of all fitness levels can take advantage of the perks of lion’s breath to melt away the stress.
The first thing to do is to find a space to sit where you’re comfortable.
Then follow the steps below.
- Lean forwards slightly, while sitting, and brace your hands on the floor or your knees.
- Spread your fingers wide and inhale through your nose.
- Stick your tongue out as far as it will go down your chin and open your mouth wide.
- Exhale forcefully through your mouth and feel your breath across your whole tongue.
- While exhaling, make a “ha” sound, pushing it out from your abdomen.
- Don’t be afraid to really go for it, make sure you keep your tongue out and have fun with it.
- Take a few normal breaths and repeat a few times.
If demonstrations are more your thing, check out this great video and see how it’s done.
This can all be done in under five minutes – so why not give it a try?
It may feel a bit strange to begin with, but you’ll soon feel relaxed, energized, and empowered – a great way to start the day.
Bring your stress levels down with deep breathing exercises
Calming your mind is easy with this simple breathing exercise for stress and anxiety relief.
You may know it as abdominal or belly breathing, but whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that deep breathing is one of the best tools to have for stress relief.
Deep breathing uses your diaphragm to take deeper breaths and more effectively get oxygen into your bloodstream, leaving you feeling focused and more relaxed.
It’s an easy breathing technique that works wonders for de-stressing.
Because of the link between emotions and breathing it’s even been used to tackle anxiety.
Deep breathing can also calm the mind, help improve focus, and lower stress hormones in your body.
And the best thing? It’s short enough to be done at any point of the day, at work, or even on your sofa.
Here’s how to get started:
- Find a comfy position sitting or lying down.
- Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.
- Relax your belly without forcing it.
- Inhale through your nose and feel your belly rise while your chest stays relatively still.
- Slowly exhale through a slightly open mouth and feel your belly fall.
You can repeat this a few times, building up to doing it for 5-10 minutes, but 1 minute is a good start if you’re short on time.
You can build up to doing this 3 times a day as a great way to take a break from day-to-day stress and really get the full benefits of this exercise.
Practice resonance breathing to lower stress
Another fantastic stress relieving technique, resonance breathing is an effortless way to get yourself into a relaxed state and say goodbye to anxiety.
Resonance breathing is the perfect tool used to calm body and mind, and perfect for chilling out at the end of the day.
Studies have shown that it lowers your blood pressure in response to stress, and it even leads to a more positive mood.
It’s great for anxiety, depression, and panic disorders – as well as helping with conditions like COPD and even pain from IBS.
Resonance breathing is based on the concept of breathing at around 6 breaths per minute – compared to the 20 we usually take – to achieve the resonance frequency.
Although this practice is relatively new to scientists, it turns out humans have been doing this as a relaxation technique for thousands of years.
Some prayers, chants, and meditation exercises already promote this pace of breathing.
It’s really straightforward, with only a few simple steps:
- Find somewhere comfy to sit or lie down, close your eyes and loosen up.
- Inhale through your nose gently, keep your mouth closed and count to 6.
- Slowly let your breath out through your mouth for another 6 seconds.
- Repeat this for between 5 to 10 minutes.
When you finish, give yourself a little time to open your eyes and adjust to yourself.
This technique is so relaxing that you’ll feel a change almost instantly, and is one of the best tricks for grounding yourself and really lowering those anxiety levels.
Try visualized breathing to reduce anxiety
Combine breathing exercises with a peaceful visualization for a stress-relieving double whammy.
Visualization is a mindfulness exercise where you imagine a scene or an image in your head.
You can combine visualization with mindful breathing to supercharge the stress-relieving effects of both – and there’s no one right way to do it, so you can find out what works for you.
Give it a try and you’ll be on your way to a more relaxed mindset.
With little practice, stress will be melting away in no time.
You can start simple – try sitting comfortably and taking slow, deep breaths while picturing the air moving in and out of you.
Really focus on visualizing your breath as it moves into your lungs and with each breath out visualize a little bit of tension leaving your body.
Even 5 minutes of practice is so useful for winding down at the end of the day, and it fits into the busiest schedule.
You can also begin to picture a calming scene or place in your mind and try to explore it with as many senses as you can.
This may sound a little tricky at first but don’t worry, there are tons of free videos out there to guide you through it.
Give this 10 minute guided forest walk a try and you’ll be bossing this technique in no time.
Can breathing exercises really help you fight stress and anxiety?
Stress and anxiety can be as unavoidable as they are unwelcome.
These stress-relieving breathing exercises can keep those feelings at bay, helping you feel relaxed and centered.
They’re quick, you can do them from 1 minute at a time onward, and you can combine some of these exercises together for extra effect.
They’re convenient, you can do this anywhere, from your office to your kitchen to your couch.
They’re free, and there are many more free resources online to help you overcome your stress and anxiety using breathing techniques.
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