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5 Breathing Exercises To Reduce Stress

Have you ever thought about how our entire system can get affected if we don’t breathe properly? You might think there’s no such thing as breathing incorrectly but let us save you the suspense, there is! Not breathing in the correct way can cause disturbance to the entire body, leading to unwanted stress, fatigue, anxiety, a rise in blood pressure, and life-long diseases. So consider these breathing exercises to reduce stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Easy Breathing Exercises To Reduce Stress

  1. Pursed Lip Breathing
  2. Lion’s Breath
  3. 4-7-8 Breathing
  4. Box Breathing
  5. Alternate Nostril Breathing

The Types Of Breathing Exercises

1. Pursed Lip Breathing

Pursed lip breathing is a method for controlling oxygen and ventilation. It focuses on making your breathing slower and more effective. The benefit is that it lets you concentrate on your breathing pattern and helps improve it day by day. Exercise by puckering your lips while you inhale and exhale, releasing the breath slowly and steadily.

Steps To Do The Exercise:

  • Make sure you are seated or lie down completely.
  • Relax your neck and shoulders. 
  • For the first 3-4 seconds, try inhaling as much as possible, making sure the lungs are filled with fresh air.
  • Now pout your lips like you are striking a cute pose.
  • Slowly exhale the air out within 4 counts through pursed lips.

breathing exercises to reduce stress

2. Lion’s Breath

No, Lion’s breath doesn’t involve roaring. It is a form of pranayama breathing exercise, a part of yoga that gives relief to your face and chest. 

Steps To Do The Exercise:

  • Sit in a comfortable position. Posture can be anything from keeping your legs crossed to sitting back on your heels.
  • Now spread your fingers wide and press your palm against your knees.
  • Keep your eyes wide open and start inhaling deeply through your nose.
  • All the same, keep your mouth open wide with the tip of the tongue toward the chin area.
  • Exhale the air forcefully with a "ha" sound.
  • Now relax and try breathing normally.
  • Repeat this exercise at least 4 to 6 times.

3. 4-7-8 Breathing

Often recommended to control stress levels and manage anxiety, the 4-7-8 breathing exercise is an old method of pranayama, a form of yoga. Got something weighing on your mind and making your heart beat faster? You can count on this exercise to lower your heart rate.

Steps To Do The Exercise:

  • Be in a seated position or lie on your back comfortably.
  • Place your tongue in a way that it’s pressing against the back of the upper part of your teeth.
  • Now exhale while keeping your mouth wide open.
  • Then close your mouth and inhale through your nose till the count of 4. Try and hold your breath till the count of 7.
  • Lastly, exhale through your mouth with a whoosh sound that is audible to you.

breathing exercises to reduce stress, lady meditating

4. Box Breathing

You don’t need to lock yourself in a box for this exercise, but being in a calm and peaceful place sure does help. Box breathing exercise is a form of deliberate deep breathing in a slow way that helps calm and destress us. You even learn to control your breathing pattern through this exercise. 

Steps To Do The Exercise:

  • Be seated or lie on your back in a comfortable position.
  • Start by closing your eyes. Inhale the air through your nose for about 4 seconds, making sure you fill your lungs with air.
  • Hold your breath for 4 seconds and then exhale for the same amount of time.
  • Do this on repeat three more times.

box breathing exercise, lady meditating and practicing breathing

5. Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate nostril breathing is an exercise that is often practiced by yogis. It’s a common practice during meditation which is usually performed on an empty stomach. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, as it’s called in Sanskrit, helps keep your mind calm, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes you at the same time.

Steps To Do The Exercise:

  • Be seated comfortably in a peaceful surrounding.
  • Place your thumb on the right nostril and gently rest your index and middle finger between your eyebrows as you inhale through your left nostril.
  • Keep your eyes closed and slowly exhale from your left nostril.
  • Now release your right nostril and place your ring finger on the left nostril.
  • Slowly, breathe in from your right nostril and once done, exhale through your right nostril.
  • After this, you just have to keep alternating and repeating the process. 
  • Repeat this exercise 3 times at least. 
  • Relaxation is also a crucial part of exercising.
  • Heat therapy can help reduce your pain and can help you feel relaxed 
  • You can use body warmers and foot warmer for heat therapy 

Summing Up

At the end of the day, these things show results for everyone differently. So even though it might work for you, experiment with the exercises and choose which ones work best for you. If you are undergoing any medical treatment, don’t try out these exercises without consulting your doctor.


How Do I Clear My Mind Quickly?

Some of the things that can shift your focus away from stress are taking a heat therapy which includes using body and foot warmers, going for a nature walk, taking a short nap, listening to some soothing music, spending time doing some artwork, reading a book, or just relaxing by laying on the couch.

What Happens If You Do Breathing Exercises Every Day?

Doing breathing exercises every single day helps improve nasal breathing. Not only that, but the various breathing techniques also reduce stress and anxiety, and help the body's organs function better.

How Much Air Do We Humans Breathe?

Around 2000 gallons of air is inhaled by humans every day. It is almost as easy as filling up a normal swimming pool. This amount of air helps in providing oxygen to a fresh batch of blood that is pumped through the heart daily.