8 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress

If you're experiencing a lot of stress, you might benefit from using these breathing exercises to help you feel calmer and more at ease. All you really need is a peaceful area where you can focus on your breathing.

1. Pursed lip breathing 

Simple breathing technique slows breathing by requiring purposeful effort in each breath. Practice pursed-lip breathing anytime. It may help in bending, lifting, and stair climbing.  

2. Diaphragmatic breathing 

Belly breathing can help you use your diaphragm appropriately. A 2020 meta-analysis found that this sort of breathing helps those with COPD, heart illness, or cancer breathe better.  

3. Breath focus technique 

Deep breathing with picture or concentrate words and phrases. Choose a focus word that makes you grin, relaxes, or is neutral. Peace, let go, and rest are examples. Choose any word to focus on and repeat throughout practice.  

4. Lion’s breath 

Lion's breath, an energizing yoga breathing exercise, may ease jaw and facial stress. Yoga calls it Lion's Pose or Simhasana in Sanskrit.  

5. Alternate nostril breathing

For relaxation, alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama) is practiced. This breathwork improves cardiovascular function and lowers heart rate.  

6. Equal breathing 

Equal breathing is Sama Vritti in Sanskrit. Make your inhales and exhales the same duration with this breathing method. Smooth breathing promotes balance and tranquility. 

7. Resonant or coherent breathing

Five full breaths per minute is coherent or resonant. This tempo requires 5 counts of inhaling and exhaling. A 2017 study found that this breathing rate increases HRV, reduces stress, and improves depressive symptoms with Iyengar yoga.  

8. Sitali breath 

Yoga breathing lowers body temperature and calms the mind. Since Sitali breath is inhaled via the mouth, you may prefer to practice somewhere without allergens or air pollution.  

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