Mind

6 Breathing Exercises to Get You Through Your Next Stressful Situation

Best Breathing Techniques to Stay Calm

Let’s face it, stressful situations arise almost every single day. And at some point, you’ve probably had someone tell you to “just chill out” or “take a breath and relax.” For some reason, those statements never seem to make the situation better. But the actual act of taking a breath does help you relax or “chill out.” Below, we’re sharing six breathing exercises to help you find a sense of calm whenever you may need it.

If you’re looking for quick stress relievers, make sure you check out this post too!

 

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#1) Deep Abdominal Breathing

This breathing technique is the most effective for taking control of your nervous system for most people. Remember that everyone is different. So, if this doesn’t feel comfortable or like it works for you, try a different breathing technique. Some of the benefits of deep abdominal breathing include reduced heart rate, lower or stabilized blood pressure, reduced stress hormones, more relaxation, and an increase in how much oxygen is in your blood.

How To

  • Step 1 – Sit up straight in a comfortable position or lay down on your back. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  • Step 2 – Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Feel your hand on your abdomen rise with each breath.
  • Step 3 – Try to breathe in as much air as possible to expand the abdomen and allow more fresh oxygen.

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#2) Stimulating Breath or Bellows Breath

This type of breathing increases energy, heightens awareness, and helps bring clarity to your mind. It’s also called Bhastrika and can be performed in a few different ways (depending on what website you’re on), but we’re sharing the instructions given to us by the experts at Miraval on our recent team retreat.

How To

  • Step 1 – Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor. Start breathing through your nose quickly, leaving your mouth closed but relaxed.
  • Step 2 – Try to complete a cycle of 3 breaths in and 3 breaths out every second. Resume normal breathing after finishing each cycle. Continue this process for up to 15 seconds.

Tip: The duration of your inhale and exhale should be short, but equal.

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#3) Equal Breathing or Sama Vritti

Equal breathing or Sama Vritti is a yoga breathing exercise that is very calming. This is a great exercise to try if you get stressed right before bed because it’s said to improve sleep. This equal balance counting will reset your natural breathing, soothe the nervous system, and decrease stress.

How To

  • Step 1 – Get into a comfortable position, either sitting up straight or lying down.
  • Step 2 – Start breathing in and out through your nose while counting to 4 each time. Really focus on just the breath and letting go of all the other thoughts in your mind.
  • Step 3 – Once you master the 4-second breaths, try higher counts like 6 or 8 for each breath.

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#4) 4-7-8 Breathing or Relaxing Breath

This is probably a breathing exercise you’ve heard of before and we think it’s the easiest to implement in a stressful situation. Many of our team members use it when we’re feeling overwhelmed or even angry. It calms the nervous system and reduces anxiety.

How To

  • Step 1 – Completely exhale through your mouth.
  • Step 2 – Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
  • Step 3 – Hold in the air for a count of 7.
  • Step 4 – Breath out through your mouth for a count of 8, creating an audible sound.
  • Step 5 – Repeat the cycle 4 times.

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#5) Progressive Relaxation

This is a technique used to help you relax from head to toe. If you don’t have time to do this for your whole body, focus on the one area you’re feeling the most tension in that stressful situation, like your shoulders for example, and complete the exercise from there.

How To

  • Step 1 – Start breathing slowly and deeply through your nose.
  • Step 2 – Breathe in and tense the muscles in your feet.
  • Step 3 – Breathe out and release the tension in your feet.
  • Step 4 – Breathe in and tense the calf muscles.
  • Step 5 – Breathe out and release the tension in your calf muscles.
  • Step 6 – Work your way up your body.

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#6) Breath Counting

This is a great place to start if you’re new to breathing techniques. The act of counting helps you stay focused on your breathing while allowing you to relax your body.

How To

  • Step 1 – Get into a comfortable position, either sitting up straight or lying down.
  • Step 2 – Breathe in deeply a few times and then breathe out naturally. This should be slow and silent breathing.
  • Step 3 – While exhaling, count 1.
  • Step 4 – Inhale, exhale, and count 2.
  • Step 5 – Continue inhaling, exhaling, and counting upwards to 5.
  • Step 6 – Complete as many cycles of this as you feel necessary for relaxation.

There are tons of meditation apps out there and if you’re interested in breathwork or practicing these breathing techniques, you’re sure to find them on apps like Calm, Headspace, Insight Timer, or whatever app you prefer. Erin also loves Denise Cooper for breathwork if you’re further along on your journey.

Do you have any questions? Do you use breathing techniques when you’re stressed? Let us know in the comments below!

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Busbee Style, Team Busbee, Erin Busbee fashion blogger over 40, susan Harold, kaitlyn Pettibon, rachel morgan, joy myers, denise Conklin, Alissa fulton, how to battle feelings of unworthiness, women feeling unworthy, self care women over 40, Miraval resort, miraval Tucson, AZ
Team Busbee
Susan Harold, Kaitlyn Pettibon, Rachel Morgan, Joy Myers, Denise Conklin, Alissa Fulton
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3 thoughts on “6 Breathing Exercises to Get You Through Your Next Stressful Situation

  1. Thank you, this was perfect! I had just decided to look at something for a minute to try to calm down, and I saw this!

    1. So glad this helped and that you liked the post, Meredith! Hopefully, it will help get you through this usually stressful time of year. Happy holidays! ~Team Busbee

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