Some people tend to take quick, shallow breaths when they’re anxious or stressed out. While this is a common unconscious coping mechanism, it can heighten your anxiety and make you feel worse. Taking deep, mindful breaths, on the other hand, can help relax your body and make you feel calmer. Below are some highly effective deep breathing exercises you can use to relieve stress and reduce anxiety before walking into a stressful situation.

Coherent Breathing

Our natural tendency is to breathe at a rate of two to three seconds per inhale and exhale. Also known as resonant breathing, this simple technique helps relieve stress by optimizing your heart rate variability (HRV) linked to your autonomic nervous system. It involves breathing in slowly for a count of five seconds, then exhaling slowly for another count of five. Continue this pattern for at least a few minutes, pausing briefly but intentionally between each breath. Therapists often suggest the “365 method”: at least three times a day, breathe at a rhythm of six cycles per minute (five seconds inhaling, five seconds exhaling) for five minutes.

Coherent Breathing

Abdominal Breathing

This technique (also referred to as diaphragmatic breathing) is designed to strengthen the diaphragm, which is the main muscle of the respiratory system and what allows us to breathe. To practice it, put one hand on your chest and the other on your lower abdomen. Take a large breath, pushing your abdomen out as much as you can while pulling air into your lungs. Once you can inhale no further, begin to exhale slowly, expelling all of the air out of your body while your abdomen retracts. The act of breathing tightening, flattening, and descent in the diaphragm, Taking in the air with the lungs. The diaphragmatic movement pushes the diaphragm downward By forcing the abdominal wall down, the abdominal contents fall down.

Abdominal Breathing

Lion’s Breath

A popular yoga technique, this exercise releases tension in the jaw, neck, and face, relaxing the body and calming the mind. Studies show that it may also help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and asthma. To try it, sit comfortably on the floor, either on your heels or with crossed legs, and breathe in deeply through your nose, filling your belly with air and opening your eyes up wide. While exhaling, make a “ha” sound that comes from deep within your abdomen. Breathe normally for a few moments. Repeat the lion’s breath up to 7 times.

People who are brand new to breathwork or have no experience should use the lion’s breath in a restrictive way. It consists of exhalations that are forceful and can potentially damage preexisting respiratory problems and add additional trauma to the lungs. Consult your doctor if you’re unsure if it is safe for you to try the breath.

Lion’s Breath

Along with Breathing Technique

With the Mood Wellthy journal, there is a roadmap to achieve a well-balanced mood. Along with proper, practical stress management techniques, the idea is to help you transform this fear-based response that we often have to stress into a safe-based response you can use to empower your mind.