Breathing Exercises to De-Stress by Marilee Tapley

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A lot of us are over-worked, over-stressed and overwhelmed.  How can you get some quick relaxation in for a few minutes every day that is simple and free?  Answer: Breathing exercises.

Rhythmic, controlled, mindful breathing techniques and exercises can be a simple way to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, help with anxiety, promote relaxation and assist with insomnia.

Additional Benefits of Deep Breathing:

Toxin Release– When you exhale air, you are releasing the body’s natural waste, carbon dioxide.

Tension Relief– A tense body is a constricted body with shallow breathing.  Deep breathing helps loosen your tight muscles by getting more oxygen.

Relief of Emotional Issues– It helps to expel troubled feelings in your body.

Mind Relaxation– Inhaling oxygen to the brain helps to relax the mind and body.  

You do not need any equipment (other than a set of lungs) to practice mindful breathing.

Here are a few common breathing practices for every level from beginner to expert:


Abdominal Breathing Technique

Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the chest) inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. Exhale slowly through your mouth.

Begin with 6-10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day.  This exercise can produce immediate reductions to slowing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This exercise is said to bring calm, balance, and it unites the right and left sides of the brain. Begin by sitting cross-legged on the floor. Hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. When lungs are maxed, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue this pattern, alternating from left to right nostrils.  This exercise has been known to increase energy.

4-7-8 Breathing

This is my personal favorite breathing exercise.  In a sitting positon, back straight, inhale through the nose for 4 seconds.  Hold your breath for 7 seconds then release slowly through the mouth for 8 seconds.

This is one breath. Inhale again and repeat the cycle 3 more times for a total of 4 breaths.

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The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.


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