7 Simple Breathing Exercises

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You ever notice how your breathe quickens when you get scared or really anxious? How about the last time you had to make a speech in front of people and thought you might pass out, how was your breathing then? Our breathing is a great indicator of our moods and how our body is instinctively reacting to our circumstances. 

You ever notice your breathe when you are feeling calm? Take a notice next time and you may realize you can take longer inhales and exhales. Its a sign of how relaxed your body is. 

Breathing exercises can calm you before bed, ease your anxiety, and help you focus and gain clarity. Below are benefits from different breathing exercise. There is also a list of 7 different breathing exercises to try. Each includes how to do it, when to them, and their benefits. 

Benefits 

1.Slow Your Heart Rate 

A lack of oxygen can make you feel tense and nervous. Certain breathing exercises forces more oxygen in your cells. This lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, and improves circulation

2. Improve Energy Level 

Deep breathes create more oxygen saturation in the cells. Try taking some deep breathes when you are feeling a bit down.  

It also, creates a relaxed alertness. This can help you especially while sitting at your desk all day.  

3. Clean Out Lungs 

By forcing oxygen to the deepest part of your lungs you break up any particles or residue that may be there. This improves lung capacity and performance.

4. Reduce Anxiety 

Taking short, shallow breathes trigger the mind to feel like it's in danger. You can help put it at ease and reduce the amount of stress you are feeling. Long breathes from deep breathing tells the nervous system to calm down.

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7 Breathing Exercises 

1. Equal Breathing 

How To:

This is a simple method of breathing. Inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of four. The goal is to calm the nervous system, increase focus and reduce stress. 

When:

This technique can be especially helpful before bed. Focusing on regulating and evening out the breath will take your mind off of racing thoughts. 

2. Abdominal Breathing Technique 

The benefits of this breathing exercise are to experience immediate reductions in heart rate and blood pressure. 

How To:

Put a hand on chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath, through nose to stretch your lungs. 

The goal is six to ten deep, slow breathes per minute for ten minutes

When: 

To do this exercise before any stressful event. Those who operate in a stressed state often will find this a difficult breathing exercise. 

3. Alternate Nostril Breathing 

How to:

Start with your right thumb on your right nostril. Breath in through your left nostril. Once you are ready to exhale let go of right nostril, block left nostril with your ring finger. Exhale through right nostril.

Continue the pattern.

When: 

When you are under pressure and need energy do this breathing exercise. I wouldn't try this one before bed. 

4. Skull Shining Breath

How To: 

Start with a long, slow inhale. Followed by a quick, powerful exhale generated from the lower body. 

When:

Do this exercise when you wake up.

5. Guided Visualization 

This is a very simple breathing exercise. Great for beginners. 

How To:

With a helpful recording as your guide, breathe deeply while focusing on pleasant and positive images. 

When:

This one is great for anywhere or anytime.

6. 4-7-8 Relaxing Breathe 

How to: 

Exhale completely through mouth. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a four count. Hold breath for a seven count. Exhale completely from mouth for an eight count. 

Do this cycle four times.

When:

This a great exercise to try doing two times a day. 

Practice before doing more cycles. 

7. Breath Counting 

How to: 

Start with inhale for a one count. Exhale for a one count. Inhale for a two count. Exhale for a two count. Continue till you get to 10.

When: 

Anytime. 

Hopefully with those 7 exercises you will have a breathing technique for most parts of your day, from waking up, to stressful meetings, to going to sleep. Let me know in the comments below what breathing exercises you use.