Breathing Exercises for Stress Relief

breathing exercises
breathing exercises

Breathing Exercises

The following is a series of intentional breathing exercises that are used as a healing technique to activate the relaxation response.  When your body is relaxed you are not only more relaxed but also more naturally energized and productive.

  1. Sit quietly in a straight backed chair to allow for better posture and deeper breaths:
  • Close your eyes.
  • Breathe naturally and begin to notice your breathing.
  • Do this for a few minutes.
  • To the count of five breathe deeply and slowly from your abdomen.
  • Hold your breath to the count of seven.
  • Breathe out slowly to the count of nine.
  • Continue with this breathing exercise for another five minutes.
  1. Sit quietly on the floor or in a chair:
  • Close your eyes.
  • Place your palms on your abdomen.
  • Allow your abdomen to extend as you inhale slowly to the count of five.
  • Hold your breath to the count of seven.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of nine or more.
  • Repeat for a five minute breathing session.
  1. Stand or sit as this is an “energizing” breathing exercise:
  • Breathe in deeply
  • Exhale forcefully through your nose. You will notice that your abdomen gives a little “kick.”
  • Breathe and exhale in short bursts as if you were “panting like a dog” through your nose.
  • Continue this for three rounds.  Count from forty to eighty breaths per round.
  • Your abdomen will get a workout and you will wake up your brain and body.
  1. Lie down on your back with your arms slightly extended at your sides and legs slightly spread apart:
  • Breathe in and hold your breath while you tighten your arms and hands.
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Relax as you exhale.
  • Breathe in and hold your breath as you tighten your legs and feet.  Hold.
  • Relax as you exhale.
  • Breathe in and hold your breath as you tighten your abdomen.  Hold.
  • Relax as you exhale.
  • Breathe in and hold your breath as you tighten your buttocks.  Hold.
  • Relax as you exhale.
  • Breathe in and hold your breath as you tighten your face.  Hold.
  • Relax and exhale.
  • Breathe in and hold your breath as you tighten your entire body.  Hold.
  • Relax and exhale.
  • Completely relax your entire body and let your mind let go of any tension.
  • Lie in this state completely relaxed for ten minutes.