One of the tricks to staying happy is to stay calm at all times. Staying relaxed helps you cope with stress and is key to staying healthy. But the irony is that stress makes it difficult to stay calm. So what should you do when your mind is troubled? You could take medicines, but they come with harmful side-effects; therapy sessions are also expensive. Breathing exercises, on the other hand, can greatly help you manage stress and put your mind at ease. The best part about them is that you can perform them at home without the help of an expert. What’s more? You only need to invest a short period of time each day to reap the benefits.
Why Breathing Exercises Are Great
Breathing exercises are all about breathing consciously and in a controlled manner. They are known to stimulate the brain by increasing blood flow and believed to regulate body heat. Some advanced breathing techniques are even said to improve your digestive capability.
Breathing techniques are best known for the calming effect they have on the mind and body. When done
Master these breathing techniques, and you’ll have a calm mind in no time at all.
3 Breathing Exercises To Calm Your Mind
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1. Deep Breathing
- Breathe in through your nose slowly and deeply for 5 to 6 seconds.
- Hold your breath for a couple of seconds; then, slowly start exhaling from your mouth. Take
- Repeat this breathing cycle 10-20 times.
Once you’re more comfortable with the regular deep breathing technique, you can progress to a slightly harder variation. It involves the same technique of breathing in, holding your breath, and exhaling; the difference is the duration. You’ll need to hold your breath for as long as 7 seconds before exhaling, which should last 9 seconds.
Maintain a comfortable position of your choice when trying the deep breathing technique. Sit on a chair or the ground, or lie down flat on your back. A comfortable seated position is preferred for the more advanced technique.
Performing this technique on a regular basis can help you overcome or keep in check stress and hypertension.3 Deep breathing is also believed to aid severe anxiety issues and panic attacks.
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2. Alternate Nostril Breathing
As the name suggests, this technique involves breathing in through one nostril and breathing out through the other.
- Start by blocking your right nostril with your thumb and breathing in steadily through the left.
- At the peak of inhalation, block your left nostril and breathe out slowly but steadily through the right nostril.
- Continue the cycle by breathing in through your right nostril and, then, out through the left.
This technique is believed to be good for the heart, lungs, and brain. It could lower your blood pressure and improve respiratory capacity and endurance.4
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3. Three-Part Breathing
This is a simple breathing technique with incredible benefits.
- Start by placing your hands on your abdomen and inhaling slowly to expand it.
- Exhale slowly, and let all the air out.
- Next, place your hands on your ribs and inhale slowly again, letting your chest fill up with air this time. Then, exhale slowly.
- Last, place your hands on
If you’re suffering from insomnia due to anxiety and stress, this breathing technique may bring about some positive change. The technique has the ability not only to relax your mind but also your muscles.
Try doing these three simple breathing exercises regularly to rid yourself of stress and improve your overall health.
|↑1||Valenza, Marie Carmen, Geraldine Valenza-Peña, Irene Torres-Sánchez, Emilio González-Jiménez, Alicia Conde-Valero, and Gerald Valenza-Demet. “Effectiveness of controlled breathing techniques on anxiety and depression in hospitalized patients with COPD: a randomized clinical trial.” Respiratory care 59, no. 2 (2014): 209-215.|
|↑2||Bowler, Simon D., Amanda Green, and Charles A. Mitchell. “Buteyko breathing techniques in asthma: a blinded randomised controlled trial.” Medical Journal of Australia 169 (1998): 575-578.|
|↑3||Consolo, Kitty, Sally Fusner, and Sharon Staib. “Effects of diaphragmatic breathing on stress levels of nursing students.” Teaching and learning in nursing 3, no. 2 (2008): 67-71.|
|↑4||Upadhyay Dhungel, K., V. Malhotra, D. Sarkar, and R. Prajapati. “Effect of alternate nostril breathing exercise on cardiorespiratory functions.” (2008).|