2 Breathing Exercises To Reduce Stress
Focusing on your breathing not only encourages you to slow down and take deeper breaths, it can also help bring you into the present moment and shift into more of a parasympathetic/relaxed state. Here are two examples of breathing exercises you can try, or check out these apps:
1. Deep belly breathing:
- Take a slow breath in through the nose, breathing into your lower belly (for 4 seconds)
- Hold your breath for 2 seconds
- Exhale slowly through the mouth (for 4 seconds)
- Wait a few seconds before taking another breath
- Repeat as needed
2. Alternate nostril breathing:
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.
- Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed for a brief moment
- Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side
- Pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.
- Inhale slowly through the right side
- Hold both nostrils closed
- Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side
- Pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale