Updated May 30th, 2024 at 11:33 IST

Remain Stress-free With These Breathing Exercises

These breathing techniques are simple, require no special equipment, and can be practised anywhere.

Breathing exercises | Image:Unsplash
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In a world as busy as this, stress has become a common part of our lives, affecting our mental and physical well-being. One of the simplest and most effective ways to combat stress is through breathing exercises. These techniques can help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote overall relaxation. Here are some easy and effective breathing exercises to help you remain stress-free.

Diaphragmatic breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as abdominal or belly breathing, is a technique that encourages full oxygen exchange, which slows the heartbeat and can lower or stabilize blood pressure.

How to do it

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1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
2. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
3. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise while your chest remains relatively still.
4. Exhale slowly through your mouth or nose, feeling your abdomen fall.
5. Repeat for 5-10 minutes, focusing on the rise and fall of your abdomen.

This exercise helps to engage the diaphragm fully, promoting relaxation and reducing the physiological impact of stress.

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4-7-8 Breathing technique

Developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, the 4-7-8 breathing technique is designed to promote relaxation and help manage stress and anxiety.

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How to do it

1. Sit or lie down comfortably and close your eyes.
2. Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4.
3. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound, for a count of 8.
5. Repeat the cycle 4 times.

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This method slows down your breathing, encourages relaxation, and can help you fall asleep more easily if practiced before bedtime.

Breathing exercise | Image: Unsplash

Alternate nostril breathing

Alternate nostril breathing is a yogic practice that balances the mind and body, reducing stress and improving overall well-being.

How to do it

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1. Sit comfortably with your spine straight.
2. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale deeply through your left nostril.
3. Close your left nostril with your right ring finger, then release your right nostril and exhale through it.
4. Inhale through your right nostril, then close it with your right thumb and release your left nostril, exhaling through it.
5. Continue this pattern for 5-10 minutes.

This exercise helps to harmonise the hemispheres of the brain, promoting mental clarity and calmness.

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Box Breathing

Box breathing is a powerful yet simple relaxation technique that can help manage stress.

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Breathing exercise | Image: Unsplash

How to do it

1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
2. Inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
3. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
4. Exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.
5. Hold your breath for another count of 4.
6. Repeat the cycle for 5-10 minutes.

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Box breathing can quickly calm the nervous system and help regain focus and composure during stressful situations.

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Published May 30th, 2024 at 11:33 IST