If you ever feel tense, anxious, or frustrated, breathing techniques may help. The proper techniques can take you from having a racing heartbeat to being calm in just a few minutes. Here are a few effective but underrated breathing techniques that can be excellent for relaxation.
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1. Deep breathing Exercise
Buddhists and yoga enthusiasts have used breathing exercises for thousands of years. They promote relaxation and a sense of wellness. Deep breathing is great for yoga and meditation practices. Deep breathing can improve the thought process. It can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and improve cognitive function. Follow these steps when performing breathing exercises.
- Prepare your mind for relaxation and adopt a comfortable sitting position
- Quiet all noise and gather your thoughts
- Inhale and exhale slowly, following your breath
- Repeat five to six cycles and start lengthening your inhale-exhale pattern
- As your breathing gets deeper, imagine your whole body filling up with air, rising, and falling
- Repeat for as long as you need
2. Box Breathing
Box breathing is a fantastic technique in times of extreme stress. The type of deep breathing exercise works by distracting you. When practicing the technique, you focus on counting to four which calms your nervous system and reduces stress. It helps get your breathing pattern back to normal. Follow these steps to practice it:
- Sit or lay quietly, letting your eyes close or soften
- Breathe in and count to four slowly
- Let air get into your lungs slowly
- Hold your breath for four seconds and avoid inhaling or exhaling
- Exhale through your mouth for about four seconds
- Repeat until you feel calm and relaxed
3. Sitali Breath
This is a yoga breathing technique meant to relax your mind and lower your body temperature. The secret to this technique is extending your breath without forcing it. It focuses on breathing through the mouth, so you want to be in an area with no air pollution or allergens.
- Sit in a comfortable position
- Stick out and curl your tongue and bring the outer edges together. Alternatively, you can pursue your lips
- Inhale through the mouth and exhale through the nose
- Continue the technique for about five minutes
4. Humming Bee Breath (Bhramari)
This yoga breathing technique is soothing to the forehead. It gives a sense of instant relief. Consider using it to relieve the signs of frustration, anger, and anxiety. Pick a location where you are free to make humming sounds.
- Sit in a comfortable position
- Close your eyes and relax
- Hold your first fingers on the tragus cartilage partially covering the ear canal
- Inhale slowly
- When exhaling, press your fingers gently into the cartilage
- With your mouth closed, try making humming sounds
- Repeat for as long as needed
5. Equal Breathing (Sama Vritti)
The equal breathing technique encourages you to focus on having smooth and steady breaths. It is about having inhales and exhales of the same length. In the end, it promotes a feeling of equanimity and balance.
Try working with a breath length that isn’t too difficult or too simple for you. It shouldn’t be too fast or too slow, or you may be unable to maintain it for long. Ideally, you should repeat it for three to five counts. If you are a beginner, it’ll be easier to do it while seated. As you advance, however, you may be able to do it while performing other tasks.
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Using your nose, breathe in and out.
- Count during your inhales and exhales to maintain evenness. If counting is too boring, consider repeating a short phrase or chant during every inhale and exhale
- You may add breath retention or a slight pause after every inhale and exhale if you need to. It should feel like natural breathing.
- Practice for about five minutes
All of the above breathing techniques are great. They are unique and appropriate for different situations. Consider trying them and choosing the most effective one for you. Dedicate a few days every week to practice breathing exercises. If you have the time, you can even practice them every day.
If you have any specific medical issues, check in with your doctor. Do not rely on breathing techniques to take the place of prescription medications. If you are curious about breathing techniques, speak with your yoga teacher or respiratory therapist. Discontinue the technique if you feel agitated or uncomfortable.