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Breathing Exercises To Reduce Stress

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Does you everyday work stress you out constantly? Take up these simple breathing exercises at any time of the day to reduce the stress and fatigue.

Have you ever woken up exhausted and tired? Been anxious about the day ahead? Are you wondering if you’ll have enough energy to get yourself and your family ready for the day in time? Whatever the reason may be, I’m sure you go through times when you feel stressed and overwhelmed.

So if you are wondering how to get through your day doing the never-ending chores, keep reading. These simple breathing exercises can instantly boost your energy, reduce stress, and help you feel more organized and prepped up for the day.

Listening To Your Normal Breathing

  • Take a moment and turn your attention to your normal breathing. Close your eyes and become aware of how you are breathing.
  • Just notice, without trying to change the way you breathe. Notice the movement of air through your nose, through your throat, and even through your belly.
  • What parts or parts of your body do you sense moving? Keep this level of focused concentration on your breath for 5 cycles of breathing.
  • Finally, take a deep breath through your nose, breathe out, and slowly open your eyes.

Humming Bee Breath

This exercise is a lot of fun. If you have children, try it with them! They will love it!

  • Sit in a comfortable position, relax your shoulders, and soften your jaw.
  • Breathe in gently and slowly breathe out. Repeat 3–5 times.
  • Close your eyes, make sure your mouth is gently closed (not locked tight), and slowly breathe in through your nose. Breathe out making a long humming sound, like a humming bee. Go hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
  • Make the humming sound as long and deep as possible.
  • Feel the sound vibrate through your throat and “tickle” your lips.
  • Breathe in slowly and steadily.
  • Repeat this 3–5 times.
  • Remain seated, keep your eyes closed, and tune into the sensations and energies flowing through the body.
  • When you are ready, open your eyes. Take your time before reengaging with your day.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Also known as Anuloma Viloma, this is one of my favorite yoga breathing exercises. Beginners might find it difficult to get a hang of it, but once mastered, I’m sure it’ll help you calm your mind.

There are six steps to complete one round of alternate nostril breathing. But first, make sure you are sitting comfortably either on a chair or cross-legged on the floor. Sit upright with a straight spine. Rest the back of your left hand on your left knee, with your thumb and index finger touching. With your right hand, bend your index and middle fingers and touch your palm, which leaves your right thumb to close your right nostril and your ring and little fingers to close your left nostril.

Before you start, spend a few moments in silence and focus on your normal breath, as in the first exercise.

  1. Exhale fully, close your right nostril with your right thumb, and slowly exhale through your left nostril for a count of 4.
  2. Gently hold your breath by “pinching” both nostrils between your thumb and the ring and little finger for a count of 16.
  3. Release your thumb from your right nostril (keep your left nostril closed) and exhale through your right nostril for a count of 8.
  4. Keeping your left nostril closed and breathe in through your right nostril for a count of 4.
  5. Close both nostrils and hold your breath for a count of 16 (as in #2).
  6. Release your left fingers from your left nostril, keep your right nostril closed with your right thumb, and breathe out through the left nostril for a count of 8.

This completes one round. Aim to do 3–10 rounds everyday or set your timer and practice for 2–10 minutes. NOTE: If you are pregnant or new to yoga, I’d suggest you familiarize yourself with more basic yoga breathing exercises before trying this exercise.

You can practice these three exercises to calm and settle your thoughts whenever you feel anxious, unhappy, or worried. I would suggest you to first spend 1–3 days getting used to the first exercise. Ideally, practice this exercise as soon as you wake up in the morning as it helps to calm any anxious thoughts you may have when you wake up.

When you feel more comfortable with the first exercise, try the humming bee breath. This exercise can be done anytime during your day, especially before any major meetings or events that are stressful. You will instantly feel relaxed and mentally prepared to deal with the challenges ahead.

Finally, alternate nostril breathing is a slightly more advanced yoga breathing exercise. Once you get the hang of it, it can be done any time during the day when you feel off and need to refocus and concentrate.

Ntathu Allen
Star Expert

Ntathu writes books about yoga, healthy living and meditation. As a yoga and meditation teacher, she teaches super-busy women, how to relax, unwind knots in your body, calm your mind and feel better. Ntathu runs the blog Yoga Inspires where she gently shares her motivational messages of hope to remind you to love, give, breathe and be. Ntathu lives in the United Kingdom and loves to hear from her readers, so email her at [email protected] if you have a question about how yoga and meditation can help you love yourself more or just to chat and say hi. In her spare time, Ntathu loves chilling with her three daughters, watching DVDs and snacking on popcorn, home made waffles or good ole fashioned proper dark chocolate and home made cake.

Ntathu Allen
Star Expert

Ntathu writes books about yoga, healthy living and meditation. As a yoga and meditation teacher, she teaches super-busy women, how to relax, unwind knots in your body, calm your mind and feel better. Ntathu runs the blog Yoga Inspires where she gently shares her motivational messages of hope to remind you to love, give, breathe and be. Ntathu lives in the United Kingdom and loves to hear from her readers, so email her at [email protected] if you have a question about how yoga and meditation can help you love yourself more or just to chat and say hi. In her spare time, Ntathu loves chilling with her three daughters, watching DVDs and snacking on popcorn, home made waffles or good ole fashioned proper dark chocolate and home made cake.

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