5 Simple Breathing Exercises to Calm Your Mind and Reduce Stress
general mental-health wellness
Breathing is one of the most powerful tools we have to manage stress and anxiety. By taking deep, intentional breaths, we can calm our nervous system, reduce tension in our bodies, and cultivate a sense of inner peace and calm. In this post, we’ll share five simple breathing exercises you can use to calm your mind and reduce stress.
- Abdominal Breathing: Find a comfortable seated position and place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Take a deep breath in through your nose, feeling your belly expand, and then exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling your belly contract. Repeat this for several minutes, focusing on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body.
- 4-7-8 Breathing: Sit comfortably and place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and then exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat this cycle for several minutes, focusing on the rhythm of your breath.
- Box Breathing: Visualize a box in your mind, and inhale for a count of four as you trace the top of the box, hold your breath for a count of four as you trace the side of the box, exhale for a count of four as you trace the bottom of the box, and then hold your breath for a count of four as you trace the other side of the box. Repeat this cycle for several minutes, focusing on the visualization of the box and the sensation of your breath.
- Alternate Nostril Breathing: Place your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. At the top of your inhale, close your left nostril with your ring finger, release your thumb from your right nostril, and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril, close it with your thumb, and then exhale through your left nostril. Continue this cycle for several minutes, focusing on the sensation of the breath moving through each nostril.
- Ujjayi Breathing: Inhale deeply through your nose, and then exhale slowly through your mouth, making an audible “ha” sound at the back of your throat. Inhale again through your nose, and then exhale again through your mouth, this time making an “ah” sound at the back of your throat. Repeat this cycle for several minutes, focusing on the sound and sensation of your breath.
By incorporating these simple breathing exercises into your daily routine, you can cultivate a greater sense of calm and reduce stress and anxiety. Remember to take deep, intentional breaths whenever you feel overwhelmed or anxious, and allow yourself to fully experience the sensation of each breath.
Please note that while these breathing exercises can be a helpful tool for managing stress and anxiety, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If you are experiencing severe or persistent stress or anxiety, it is important to seek the guidance of a mental health professional. Additionally, please do not attempt any breathing exercises that cause discomfort or dizziness, and discontinue any exercise immediately if you experience any adverse effects. As always, listen to your body and take care of yourself.
Ross & Jayne Quick
Quick Results Training
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