In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, stress and anxiety have become common challenges that many individuals face. One practical and accessible tool for managing stress and anxiety is the practice of breathing techniques.
These powerful breathing techniques provide a direct pathway to your body’s stress response system, allowing you to regulate emotions and restore a sense of balance.
By incorporating these breathing techniques into your daily routine or using them during heightened stress or anxiety, you can cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness and enhance relaxation.
We will explore 15 different breathing techniques to relieve stress and anxiety. Each technique offers unique approaches to modulating our breath, and they have been practiced and refined over time by various cultures and experts.
From deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation to specialized methods like Wim Hof breathing and the Buteyko technique, these techniques provide a diverse range of tools to help individuals find calm and serenity in their lives.
Let’s dig deep into each technique and discover how they can be practiced to alleviate stress and anxiety, paving the way to a more balanced and peaceful state of being.
1. Deep Breathing Techniques
Deep breathing is a fundamental and widely recognized breathing technique for stress and anxiety relief. It involves taking slow, intentional breaths that fully engage the diaphragm, allowing for increased oxygen intake and relaxation of the body.
How To Perform Deep Breathing?
- Choose a calm environment where you can sit or lie down without distractions.
- Close your eyes and release any tension in your muscles.
- Let your shoulders drop, unclench your jaw, and soften your facial muscles.
- Take a slow, deep breath, allowing your belly to expand as you fill your lungs with air.
- Focus on breathing deeply into your abdomen, feeling it rise and fall.
- Release your breath gently through your mouth, allowing your abdomen to contract as you exhale.
- Focus on the sensation of letting go and releasing any tension or stress.
- Continue breathing deeply in this manner, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
- Aim for a slow and steady rhythm, allowing each breath to be smooth and relaxed.
Benefits of deep breathing for stress and anxiety relief
- Deep breathing triggers the body’s relaxation response and reduces stress hormones.
- It promotes a state of calmness and tranquility.
- Deep breathing increases oxygen flow and slows down the heart rate.
- It counteracts the fight-or-flight response associated with stress and anxiety.
- Regular deep breathing practice improves lung function and respiratory health.
- It enhances mindfulness and self-awareness.
- Deep breathing is a valuable tool for managing stress and anxiety.
- It cultivates emotional well-being and inner peace.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
PMR or Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a technique developed by Dr. Edmund Jacobson in the early 20th century. It involves systematically tensing and releasing different muscle groups in the body to promote deep relaxation.
The underlying principle of PMR is that by intentionally tensing and then releasing muscles, individuals can become more aware of the physical sensations associated with relaxation and learn to differentiate them from the sensations of tension and stress.
Steps To Perform Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Sit or lie down in a quiet and peaceful environment. Loosen any restrictive clothing and remove distractions.
- Begin by practicing a few deep breaths to initiate a state of relaxation.
- Starting from your toes and working your way up, systematically tense and release each muscle group in your body.
- Hold the tension for a few seconds (around 5-10 seconds) and then release it completely.
- Begin with your toes, move to your feet, calves, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, chest, arms, hands, neck, and finally, your facial muscles.
- As you tense and release each muscle group, pay close attention to the sensations that arise.
- Notice the contrast between tension and relaxation, and actively embrace the feeling of letting go and releasing the stress from each muscle.
- Continue progressing through each muscle group, ensuring that you tense and release each one intentionally and mindfully.
- Once you have completed the entire sequence, allow your body to remain in a state of relaxation.
- Focus on your breathing and any feelings of calmness or heaviness in your body.
How PMR Helps In Reducing Stress And Anxiety?
Progressive muscle relaxation promotes deep physical and mental relaxation.
- PMR involves consciously tensing and releasing muscles to induce relaxation.
- Regular practice decreases muscle tension and lowers blood pressure.
- It helps individuals recognize and release chronic patterns of muscular tension caused by stress.
- Progressive muscle relaxation improves sleep quality and alleviates physical discomfort.
- It fosters a deeper connection between the body and mind.
- It promotes a sense of calmness and tranquility.
3. Belly Breathing Technique Or Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique
Belly breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing, is a breathing technique that emphasizes the use of the diaphragm to promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety.
Unlike shallow chest breathing, which primarily involves the chest and shoulders, belly breathing engages the diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle located below the lungs.
When practiced correctly, belly breathing allows for deeper and more efficient breathing, leading to a cascade of physiological and psychological benefits.
Technique To Perform Belly Breathing
- Sit or lie down in a relaxed position, ensuring that your body is well-supported and free from tension.
- Gently rest your hands on your belly, allowing your fingers to lightly touch or overlap.
- This placement will help you focus your attention on the movement of your abdomen during breathing.
- Take a slow and deep breath in through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand naturally.
- Feel the gentle rise of your belly as it fills with air.
- Release your breath slowly and steadily through your mouth, feeling your abdomen naturally fall as the air is expelled.
- Direct your attention to the rise and fall of your abdomen with each breath.
- Tune in to the rhythmic movement and the sensation of your belly expanding and contracting.
- As you become more comfortable with belly breathing, gradually increase the depth and length of your inhalations and exhalations.
- Aim for slow, controlled, and smooth breaths, allowing your abdomen to rise and fall with each breath cycle.
Benefits – Belly Breathing
- Belly breathing triggers the body’s relaxation response.
- It decreases heart rate, blood pressure, and the release of stress hormones.
- Belly breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
- It promotes a sense of tranquility and reduces anxiety.
- Regular practice enhances oxygen exchange and lung function.
- Belly breathing improves overall respiratory efficiency.
- It provides a valuable tool for managing stress and anxiety.
- It fosters a deeper connection with the body and promotes relaxation.
4. Box Breathing Technique Or Square Breathing Technique
The box breathing technique, also known as square breathing, is a simple yet powerful breathing exercise that can quickly promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety.
It derives its name from the shape of a square, as the breath is divided into four equal parts, resembling the sides of a box.
This technique is often used in practices such as meditation, yoga, and mindfulness training.
Step-By-Step Instructions To Perform Box Breathing
- Sit upright in a chair or cross-legged on the floor, ensuring that your spine is straight but relaxed.
- Close your eyes if it helps you focus.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, counting to four as you fill your lungs with air.
- Imagine drawing the first side of a square, moving upward.
- Once you have reached the full inhalation, hold your breath for a count of four.
- Visualize moving horizontally along the square, completing the second side.
- Begin to exhale through your mouth, counting to four as you release the breath and empty your lungs.
- This completes the third side of the square, moving downward.
- Once you have fully exhaled, hold your breath for a count of four before beginning the next inhalation.
- Visualize moving horizontally along the square, completing the fourth and final sides.
- Continue the cycle of inhaling, holding, exhaling, and holding for the same count of four in each phase.
- Maintain a steady and rhythmic pace, allowing each phase to flow seamlessly into the next.
How Does Box Breathing Help In Managing Stress And Anxiety?
- The box breathing technique regulates the body’s stress response.
- It promotes mindfulness and redirects attention away from stressors.
- Box breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, triggering relaxation.
- It reduces the production of stress hormones.
- Box breathing lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate.
- It promotes a sense of calm and tranquility.
- The technique enhances mental clarity and focus.
- It is a valuable tool for managing stress and anxiety in various situations.
- Regular practice cultivates inner balance, emotional well-being, and resilience.
5. Wim Hof Breathing Technique
The Wim Hof breathing technique, named after its creator, Wim Hof, also known as “The Iceman,” is a powerful method that combines specific breathing patterns with cold exposure.
This technique aims to increase oxygen intake, improve circulation, and enhance the body’s ability to withstand stress. It has gained popularity for its potential benefits in reducing stress, increasing energy levels, and improving overall well-being.
How To Perform Wim Hof Breathing Technique?
- Sit or lie down in a relaxing environment, ensuring that you are free from distractions.
- Take a few moments to relax your body and clear your mind.
- Close your eyes if it helps you focus.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs as much as possible.
- Exhale forcefully through your mouth, letting go of all the air in your lungs.
- Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale gently through your mouth.
- Maintain a continuous and rhythmic breathing pattern without pausing between the inhale and exhale.
- Continue this pattern for about 30 to 40 breaths, allowing each breath to be deep and full.
- Focus on the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves your body.
- After completing the rhythmic breathing cycle, take one last deep breath in and exhale slowly.
- Exhale and hold your breath for as long as you comfortably can.
- Focus on the sensations in your body and embrace the stillness.
- When you feel the need to breathe again, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly.
- Return to your regular breathing pattern.
How does Wim Hof Breathing Technique help In Stress Reduction?
- The Wim Hof breathing technique combines deep breathing with breath retention.
- It influences the autonomic nervous system, promoting a shift toward the parasympathetic state.
- Regular practice reduces perceived stress levels and improves mood.
- It increases energy and enhances mental clarity.
- The technique may improve immune function and cold tolerance.
- It fosters mind-body awareness and helps manage stress.
- Practice with caution and consult a healthcare professional if needed.
- The Wim Hof breathing technique is a valuable tool for relaxation and well-being.
6. Pursed Lip Breathing Technique
The pursed lip breathing technique is a breathing exercise that involves intentionally prolonging the exhalation phase of the breath while creating a slight resistance by pursing the lips.
This technique is often recommended for individuals with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as it helps improve breathing efficiency and reduces shortness of breath.
However, it can also be beneficial for managing stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and regulating the breath.
Step-By-Step Instructions To Practice Pursed Lip Breathing Technique
- Sit or stand in an upright position, ensuring that your body is relaxed but well-supported.
- Take a moment to release any tension in your muscles, particularly in your shoulders, neck, and jaw.
- Take a gentle and slow breath in through your nose, counting to two or three.
- Focus on filling your lungs with air.
- Part your lips slightly, as if you were preparing to blow out a candle.
- Create a small opening, but keep your jaw relaxed.
- Start exhaling through your pursed lips, extending the exhalation phase longer than the inhalation.
- Aim for a slow and controlled exhale, counting to four or six.
- Pay attention to the flow of your breath as it passes through your pursed lips.
- Notice the gentle resistance and the sensation of control during the exhalation.
- Continue inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your pursed lips for several cycles, maintaining a steady and relaxed pace.
Benefits of pursed lip breathing for stress and anxiety relief
- Pursed lip breathing helps regulate and slow down the breath.
- It encourages a longer release of carbon dioxide, activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
- This technique improves respiratory efficiency and lung function.
- It prevents airway collapse and promotes a more complete emptying of the lungs.
- Pursed lip breathing decreases respiratory and heart rates.
- It enhances mindfulness and body awareness.
- The technique is useful in moments of anxiety or before stressful events.
7. [4-7-8] Breathing Technique
The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as the Relaxing Breath, is a simple and effective breathing exercise that aims to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and restore a sense of calm.
Developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, this technique involves a specific pattern of inhaling, holding the breath, and exhaling, which helps regulate the nervous system and induce a state of tranquility.
How to Perform 4-7-8 Breathing?
- Sit in an upright position with your spine straight, or lie down if you prefer.
- Take a moment to release any tension in your muscles, starting from your head down to your toes.
- Exhale gently through your mouth, creating a whooshing sound as you release the breath.
- Close your mouth and inhale silently through your nose, counting to four in your mind.
- Focus on filling your abdomen with a deep breath.
- After the inhalation, hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Maintain a comfortable and relaxed state during the breath hold.
- Pucker your lips and exhale slowly and completely through your mouth for a count of eight.
- Focus on the sensation of releasing the breath.
- Begin the next cycle by inhaling again through your nose for a count of four, continuing the sequence of inhaling, holding, and exhaling.
- Start with four cycles of the 4-7-8 breathing technique, gradually increasing the number of cycles as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
Benefits – 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
- The 4-7-8 breathing technique regulates the breath and activates relaxation.
- It extends the exhalation phase and incorporates a breath hold.
- The technique promotes a sense of calmness and slows down the heart rate.
- Regular practice reduces anxiety levels and improves sleep quality.
- It enhances breath control and increases oxygen intake.
- The 4-7-8 technique balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
- It is a simple and accessible tool for managing stress and anxiety.
- It can be used alone or combined with other relaxation techniques.
- The technique restores inner balance, promotes relaxation, and supports well-being.
8. Demon Slayer Breathing Techniques
The Demon Slayer Breathing Techniques, inspired by the popular anime series “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,” are fictional combat techniques depicted in the show. However, fans of the series have adapted these techniques as a unique form of stress and anxiety relief.
Drawing inspiration from the characters’ focus, control, and rhythmic breathing, practicing these techniques can help individuals channel their energy, find inner balance, and manage stress in their daily lives.
Demon Slayer Breathing Techniques
- Water Breathing Technique
This technique focuses on fluid, calm movements and emphasizes rhythmic and controlled breathing. It can help individuals find a sense of flow and tranquility, reducing stress and promoting mental clarity.
- Thunder Breathing Technique
This technique involves explosive and powerful movements combined with deep and forceful breathing. It can help individuals release pent-up energy, channel their emotions, and alleviate stress and tension.
- Flame Breathing Technique
This technique emphasizes intense, rapid movements and quick, shallow breathing patterns. It can help individuals ignite their inner strength, increase focus and determination, and combat stress and anxiety.
- Mist Breathing Technique
This technique involves slow, subtle movements and gentle, controlled breathing. It can help individuals find serenity, promote relaxation, and soothe the mind during times of stress or anxiety.
- Insect Breathing Technique
This technique focuses on precise, delicate movements and synchronized breathing. It can help individuals develop a heightened sense of awareness, enhance mindfulness, and reduce stress by immersing themselves in the present moment.
Benefits – Demon Slayer Breathing Technique
- Engaging in these techniques provides a sense of empowerment and connection with inspiring characters and storylines.
- The focus on controlled breathing, intentional movement, and visualization can positively impact stress and anxiety management.
- Practicing Demon Slayer Breathing Techniques improves body awareness, concentration, and mindfulness.
- Rhythmic breathing patterns associated with these techniques regulate breathing and activate the relaxation response.
- Caution should be exercised while practicing Demon Slayer Breathing Techniques, respecting personal limits, and ensuring safe movements.
9. Buteyko Breathing Technique
The Buteyko breathing technique is a method developed by Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, a Russian physician, to address respiratory conditions such as asthma and improve overall breathing patterns.
However, this technique has also gained popularity as a powerful tool for stress and anxiety relief.
Based on the principle of reducing over-breathing and increasing carbon dioxide levels in the body, the Buteyko breathing technique aims to restore natural, efficient breathing and promote relaxation.
Step-By-Step Instructions To Perform Buteyko Breathing Technique
- Sit in an upright position, ensuring that your body is relaxed and your spine is straight.
- Take a moment to release any tension in your muscles, starting from your head down to your toes.
- Allow your body to settle into a comfortable state.
- Gently close your mouth and begin breathing through your nose. Breathe in and out naturally, without force.
- Focus on reducing the volume of each breath. Aim for a slow, gentle breath in and a controlled, relaxed breath out.
- After exhaling, maintain a brief pause before your next inhalation.
- This pause should feel natural and comfortable.
- Whenever possible, practice nasal breathing throughout the day, even during activities such as walking or light exercise. This helps condition the body to breathe efficiently and reduces the tendency to over-breathe.
- As you become more comfortable with the technique, you can incorporate breath holds after the exhale.
- Start with a comfortable duration and gradually increase the length of the breath hold over time.
- Set aside dedicated practice sessions for the Buteyko breathing technique, starting with a few minutes per day and gradually increasing the duration as you progress.
How Does Buteyko Breathing Technique Help In Stress and Anxiety?
- The Buteyko breathing technique restores a natural balance in the body and promotes relaxation.
- It focuses on nasal breathing and reducing breath volume.
- The technique regulates the autonomic nervous system, shifting from fight-or-flight to rest.
- Increased carbon dioxide levels improve blood flow and oxygen delivery while reducing anxiety.
- Regular practice enhances lung function and respiratory efficiency.
- The Buteyko technique increases overall body oxygenation.
- It develops awareness of breathing patterns and alleviates stress-induced shallow breathing.
10. Resonant Breathing
Paced Breathing or resonant breathing is a technique that involves consciously regulating the breathing to achieve a specific breathing rate.
By synchronizing the inhalation and exhalation with a specific count, resonant breathing can create a coherent and balanced state in the body, leading to stress reduction and improved emotional well-being.
This technique harnesses the power of rhythmic breathing to promote relaxation and inner harmony.
Steps To Perform Resonant Breathing
- Sit in a relaxed and upright position, allowing your body to settle into a comfortable posture.
- Take a moment to release any tension in your muscles, starting from your head down to your toes.
- Let go of any physical or mental stress.
- Choose a specific ratio for your breath, such as inhaling and exhaling for an equal count or inhaling for a shorter count and exhaling for a longer count. A common ratio to start with is inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of six.
- Breathe in and out through your nose, maintaining a smooth and steady flow of breath.
- Nasal breathing promotes relaxation and helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Start by inhaling for the chosen count, filling your lungs with air.
- Then, exhale for the designated count, allowing your breath to flow out gently and completely.
- Continue the cycle of inhaling and exhaling, maintaining a consistent rhythm and adhering to the chosen breath ratio.
- Find a pace that feels comfortable and natural to you.
- Begin with a practice session of five minutes and gradually extend the duration as you become more comfortable with resonant breathing.
- Set aside dedicated time each day for this practice.
Benefits – Resonant Breathing
- Resonant breathing regulates the heart rate, blood pressure, and stress response.
- It stimulates the vagus nerve, activating the relaxation response.
- Resonant breathing reduces anxiety levels and improves emotional well-being.
- Regular practice enhances mindfulness and self-awareness.
- It allows for greater self-regulation and stress management.
- Resonant breathing can be practiced discreetly and in various settings.
- It offers a convenient tool for immediate stress relief.
- Resonant breathing cultivates inner harmony and reduces the impact of stress.
11. Holotropic Breathing Technique
The Holotropic breathing technique is a powerful method developed by Dr. Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina Grof as a way to access altered states of consciousness and promote personal growth and healing.
While primarily used in therapeutic settings, the technique can also be beneficial for stress and anxiety relief.
By utilizing specific patterns of deep, rhythmic breathing, the Holotropic breathing technique aims to facilitate self-exploration, release emotional blockages, and induce a state of expanded awareness.
How To Perform Holotropic Breathing Technique?
- Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can lie down or sit in a supported position. Make sure you won’t be disturbed during the practice.
- Take a few moments to relax your body and release any tension.
- Allow your muscles to soften and your body to sink into a state of relaxation.
- Begin by taking slow, deep breaths through your mouth, filling your lungs.
- Exhale naturally, allowing the breath to release without force.
- Focus on maintaining a rhythmic and continuous breathing pattern.
- Gradually increase the pace and depth of your breath, allowing it to become more energized and expansive.
- Let each inhale be a little deeper and each exhale be more complete.
- Surrender to the breath, letting it guide you.
- Trust in the natural intelligence of your body as you continue the deep, rhythmic breathing pattern.
- As you engage in the Holotropic breathing technique, be open to any sensations, emotions, or images that may arise.
- Allow them to come to the surface and observe them without judgment.
- After a designated time (typically 30 minutes to an hour), gradually slow down your breathing and return to normal breathing.
- Take a few moments to rest and integrate your experience.
Benefits – Holotropic Breathing Technique
- The Holotropic breathing technique activates the body’s relaxation response.
- It promotes catharsis and helps process unresolved stress and trauma.
- Holotropic breathing allows for the exploration of consciousness and gaining insights.
- The technique fosters a sense of connectedness and transcendence.
- It can help individuals navigate and transcend stress and anxiety.
- Practice with guidance from trained facilitators or therapists.
- Holotropic breathing accesses deeper states of consciousness.
12. Tummo Breathing Technique
The Tummo breathing technique, also known as “inner fire” or “chasing the winds,” originates from Tibetan Buddhist practices.
Tummo refers to the psychic heat generated through specific breathing and visualization techniques. While traditionally associated with spiritual practices, Tummo breathing can also be utilized for stress and anxiety relief.
By activating the body’s energy centers and generating inner warmth, this technique aims to promote relaxation, mental clarity, and a sense of inner balance.
Step-By-Step Instruction To Perform Tummo Breathing Technique?
- Choose a serene environment where you can sit or lie down without distractions.
- Ensure that you can maintain a relaxed posture throughout the practice.
- Take a few moments to release tension in your muscles and cultivate a state of relaxation.
- Let go of any physical or mental stress, allowing your body to settle into a comfortable position.
- Begin by taking slow, deep breaths, focusing on expanding your belly with each inhalation.
- Breathe in through your nose, and exhale gently through your mouth.
- As you continue breathing deeply, imagine radiant, warm energy in your lower abdomen.
- Visualize this energy growing brighter with each breath, filling your entire body with soothing warmth.
- Direct your attention to the energy centers of your body, such as the base of your spine (root chakra), the area just below the navel (sacral chakra), and the solar plexus region (solar plexus chakra).
- Envision these energy centers awakening and activating as you breathe.
- As you maintain deep diaphragmatic breathing and visualization, focus on intensifying the feeling of warmth and energy in your body.
- Imagine the heat spreading throughout your entire being, melting away any tension or stress.
- Remain in a state of mindfulness, observing the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise during the practice.
- Allow any stress or anxiety to be transformed by the warmth and energy generated within.
- When you feel ready, gradually return to normal breathing.
- Take a moment to appreciate the sense of inner balance and relaxation you have cultivated through the Tummo breathing technique.
Benefits – Tummo Breathing Technique
- Tummo breathing activates the relaxation response and promotes tranquility.
- It enhances mind-body connection and self-awareness.
- Tummo breathing supports the body’s natural healing processes.
- It can improve immune function and circulation.
- Approach Tummo breathing with respect for its origins and seek guidance from experienced practitioners or teachers.
13. Lion’s Breath Technique – Simhasana Pranayama
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Lion’s Breath is a breathing technique that combines breathwork with a unique vocalization, resembling the fierce roar of a lion. This technique is rooted in the practice of yoga and is often used as a cathartic release of tension and stress.
Lion’s Breath can be particularly effective for reducing anxiety and promoting the emotional release, as it engages both the breath and vocal expression to unleash built-up energy and promote a sense of liberation.
Steps to Practice Lion’s Breath
- Sit in a cross-legged position on the floor or on a chair with your spine erect, or you can choose to stand if that feels more comfortable for you. Relax your body and release any tension in your muscles.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, drawing the breath all the way down into your abdomen.
- Fill your lungs with air, expanding your chest and belly.
- Open your mouth wide, stick out your tongue, and simultaneously exhale forcefully with a “ha” sound while letting your breath and voice resonate.
- Imagine releasing any stress, tension, or negative emotions as you exhale.
- As you exhale, visualize all the stress and anxiety leaving your body.
- Imagine the energy flowing out of you like a fierce lion’s roar, creating space for calmness and tranquility to enter.
- Take a moment to take a deep breath through your nose again, and then exhale forcefully through your mouth, repeating the lion’s roar sound.
Benefits of Lion’s Breath for Stress
- Lion’s Breathing releases tension and pent-up emotions.
- It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation.
- Lion’s Breath relieves muscular tension in the face, throat, and neck.
- It enhances mindfulness and present-moment awareness.
14. Equal Breathing Technique – Sama Vritti Pranayama
Equal breathing, also known as Sama Vritti is a simple yet powerful breathing technique that involves equalizing the duration of inhalation and exhalation.
This practice focuses on creating a rhythmic and balanced breath pattern, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. By consciously regulating the breath, equal breathing helps bring harmony to the body and mind.
How To Perform Equal Breathing Technique?
- Sit in a comfortable position with your spine upright.
- You can choose to sit on the floor, on a cushion, or in a chair.
- Relax your body and place your hands on your knees or in a comfortable resting position.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to settle your mind and body.
- Allow any tension or distractions to melt away as you prepare for the practice.
- Begin by inhaling slowly and deeply through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Feel the breath filling your abdomen, then expanding into your chest.
- Maintain a smooth and steady inhalation.
- Once you’ve completed the inhalation, hold your breath for a count of four.
- Keep your body relaxed and your awareness focused on the breath.
- Exhale slowly and evenly through your nose, matching the count of four.
- Allow the breath to flow out effortlessly, releasing any tension or stress as you exhale.
- Repeat the cycle, inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of four, and exhaling for a count of four.
- Keep the breath smooth and steady, maintaining the same duration for each phase of the breath.
- As you become comfortable with the practice, you can gradually increase the count to five or six for each phase—inhale, hold, and exhale. However, only extend the breath if it feels comfortable for you. The goal is to find a rhythm that is soothing and sustainable.
Benefits Equal Breathing In Reducing Stress And Anxiety
- Equal breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation.
- It enhances focus and mental clarity.
- Equal breathing balances the energy flow in the body.
- It increases body-mind awareness.
- Equal breathing is a portable stress relief tool that can be practiced anywhere, anytime.
15. Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique – Anulom Vilom Pranayama
Alternate nostril breathing, also known as Nadi Shodhana or Anulom Vilom, is a pranayama technique rooted in the ancient practice of yoga.
This technique involves alternating the flow of breath between the left and right nostrils, resulting in a balanced and harmonized energy within the body.
Alternate nostril breathing is a powerful tool for stress and anxiety relief, as it helps calm the mind, balance the nervous system, and promote a sense of inner peace.
Step-By-Step Instructions To Perform Alternate Nostril Breathing
- Sit in a comfortable position with your spine erect, either on the floor or in a chair.
- Relax your shoulders and close your eyes.
- Rest your left hand comfortably on your lap. Raise your right hand and bring it to your face.
- Place your index and middle fingers gently between your eyebrows.
- Rest your ring finger on your left nostril and your thumb on your right nostril.
- Close your right nostril with your thumb and gently exhale through your left nostril.
- Ensure that the breath is slow, steady, and complete.
- Close your left nostril with your ring finger, release your thumb from the right nostril, and inhale deeply and slowly through your right nostril.
- Feel the breath entering and filling your lungs.
- Close your right nostril with your thumb and release your ring finger from the left nostril.
- Exhale slowly and completely through your right nostril.
- Keep the right nostril open and inhale deeply and slowly through it.
- Feel the breath entering and filling your lungs.
- Close the right nostril with your thumb and release the left nostril by lifting your ring finger.
- Exhale slowly through your left nostril.
- Inhale through the left nostril, switch nostrils and exhale through the right nostril.
- Continue this alternate nostril breathing pattern for several rounds, starting and ending with an exhale through the left nostril.
Benefits – Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique
- Balances the flow of breath between nostrils and harmonizes brain hemispheres.
- Activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation.
- Reduces stress hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure.
- Enhances mental clarity, focus, and concentration.
- Regulates the flow of prana, promoting balance and reducing restlessness.
- Grounds individuals in the present moment, fostering resilience to stress.
- Incorporating alternate nostril breathing promotes relaxation, mental clarity, and emotional well-being.
Easiest Way To Incorporate These Powerful Breathing Exercises In Your Daily Routine With WellHeal
WellHeal App has a specifically designed section for breathing exercises – Pranayama Section. Our pranayama section can be a valuable tool for helping you incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine
With the app at your fingertips, you can practice pranayama exercises anytime and anywhere. Whether you’re at home, in the office, or on the go, simply open the app and follow along with the guided pranayama sessions.
It provides step-by-step instructions and demonstrations for each pranayama technique. You’ll receive clear guidance on breathing patterns, durations, and transitions. The guided sessions will also help you maintain proper posture and relaxation throughout.
Explore a wide range of pranayama techniques through the app. Discover Anulom Vilom, Ujjayi, Bhramari, and many more. With various options available, you can find the techniques that resonate best with you and add variety to your practice.
- Progress Tracking
Keep track of your progress and set goals using the app’s features. Monitor your practice frequency, and duration, and receive reminders for daily breathing exercises. This feature fosters accountability and motivation for maintaining a consistent pranayama practice.
Download the App:
Breathing techniques offer accessible ways to manage stress and anxiety, providing benefits for overall well-being. Incorporating these techniques into your daily routine can regulate the nervous system, reduce stress’s physiological effects, and promote peace and balance.
Experiment with the fifteen techniques shared in this article, such as deep belly breaths, gentle exhalations, and energizing Lion’s Breath. Set aside dedicated time each day, gradually increasing the duration.
By harnessing its power, you tap into your body’s innate ability to find peace, relaxation, and relief. Embrace the transformative effects of your breath, cultivating inner peace and resilience to navigate life’s challenges with grace and calmness.
Use WellHeal App to perform highly powerful breathing exercises to manage your stress and anxiety levels.
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