Breathing Techniques and Exercises to Calm Your Body

Dec 4, 2021 | Inhale l Exhale

Worrying is a normal response, but with the help of breathing techniques and exercises, you too can breathe easily and lessen your anxieties. Breathing techniques are a great way to help calm the body and mind. In today’s fast-paced world, people of all ages need to find ways to take care of themselves to avoid injury and illness. 

This blog post will teach you how breathing exercises can be used as an easy way to regulate your breath, lower stress levels, and improve overall health!

Why Breathing Exercises are Important

According to the American Lung Association, our lungs are like springy doors. When the lungs are healthy, they can distribute oxygen well around our body, but over time, with respiratory problems like asthma, COPD, and others, the springiness of our lungs deteriorates. If this happens, your diaphragm will use the neck, back, and chest muscles for Breathing. It also means low oxygen levels for exercise and other activities. 

Breathing exercises help rid the lungs of stale air and increase your oxygen levels. If practiced regularly, your diaphragm will stay healthy and help you breathe normally. 

Breathing Techniques and Exercises You Can Perform

There are various breathing techniques and exercises that you can perform to help you breathe more efficiently. If you want to learn these techniques, we narrowed five of the best breathing exercises that you can do without sweating too much!

Belly Breathing

Among the breathing exercises you can find, belly breathing is the easiest. While the steps are simple, they can still help you relax and relieve stress. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, lie or sit flat in a comfortable position.
  2. Next, put one hand on your belly below your ribs and the other on your chest. 
  3. Inhale a deep breath through your nose while letting your belly push your hand out. Make sure that your chest is not moving. 
  4. Exhale with your lips pursed as if you are whistling. Feel your hand push out the air as your belly moves inward. 
  5. Repeat this Breathing 3 to 10 times a day, taking your time within each breath. 
  6. Lastly, compare how you feel after the exercise and see if you feel better than on your first try. 

Morning Breathing

If you want more advanced breathing exercises, try this technique. As the name says, morning breathing exercise is done first thing after waking up. It will help clear your nostrils and breathing passages, and muscle stiffness. You can use it also to help relieve back tension. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Bend forward from the waist with your knees slightly bent in a standing position. Let your arms dangle close to the floor.
  2. While in this position, inhale deeply and slowly. To return to your standing position, roll slowly, lifting your head last. 
  3. Hold your breath for a few seconds before standing. 
  4. Return to your original position as you exhale slowly. Repeat the exercise, bending forward again from the waist. 
  5. Take notice of how you feel after the exercise is over. 

4-7-8 Breathing 

Of all the breathing techniques and exercises you can try, only the 4-7-8 Breathing involves counting. The numbers 4,7, 8 refer to your breathing count. It also uses the belly breathing technique, but you have the option of sitting or lying down. 

  1. First, put your hand on your belly and the other on your chest. 
  2. Next, breathe deeply and slowly from your belly as you silently count to 4 breathing in. 
  3. Hold your breath and count slowly from 1 to 7. 
  4. Exhale slowly as you count from 1 to 8. Make sure to get out all the air in your lungs by the time you reach 8. 
  5. Repeat this breathing exercise 3 to 7 times until you feel relaxed and calm. 

Roll Breathing

This advanced breathing technique is to help you develop full use of your lungs and concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing pattern. To do this, you must lie on your back, with bended knees. 

  1. First, put your left hand on your belly. Place your right hand on your chest and notice how you breathe in and out. 
  2. Practice filling your lungs with air by breathing so the hand on your belly goes up with inhale while the hand on your chest remains. 
  3. Breathe in through your nose and out to your mouth. Practice this at least 8 to 10 times. 
  4. After that, inhale air to your lower lungs, slowly rising to your chest. Breathe slowly and normally; as you do this, your right hand will rise, and your left hand will fall a little as your belly falls. 
  5. Next, exhale slowly through your mouth, making a quiet whooshing sound as you let your left-hand fall, followed by the right one. You will feel the tension leaving your body as you become even more relaxed while exhaling. 
  6. Repeat this exercise for 3 to 5 minutes. You will notice that your belly and chest rise and falls like rolling waves, therefore naming this exercise as roll breathing. 
  7. You can practice this daily up until you can do this anywhere. It is also a helpful technique if you want to feel relaxed at work or any situation. 

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Another easy yet effective breathing technique you can try is alternate nostril breathing. This exercise is popular among yoga practitioners to help bring balance and calmness to their everyday life. To do this, you must: 

  1. First, place yourself in a comfortable position. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale through your left one. 
  2. Once you have reached full breath, move your right thumb to your left nostril and exhale through your right.
  3. Repeat this as you switch your Breathing. Inhale through your right nostril, close it with the right thumb, and exhale through the left. 

Repeat this exercise for a few minutes until you feel more focused. It will help you concentrate better and feel more energized throughout the day. 

In Closing

Yes, I agree, we cannot avoid hearing bad news, but you always choose to stay calm and think before reacting. How we respond to situations can trigger or diffuse our anxiety. Of course, you always have these exercises to help you calm down. But before you do, make sure to listen to your body first. Be aware of how you feel and be mindful of how these anxieties affect you. 

Keep in mind that these breathing techniques and exercises help relieve your anxiety to focus well. If they do not help calm you, then it’s best to consult with a mental health professional for further assessments. Contact your physician first if you have respiratory conditions like asthma, COPD, and others. This way, they can suggest proper breathing exercises that you can try. We hope you find this post insightful. Beat that anxiety and live life to the fullest!