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Life during the pandemic might be uncomfortable for most of us. It’s normal to feel stressed and anxious, but remember you are not alone in this. Stress and anxiety could cause both physical and mental effects to your health. Therefore it is important to learn to manage and respond to stress in a positive way: simply using breathing exercises can provide anxiety and stress relief by calming your emotion. It can also help you fall asleep easier and better.

Similar to aerobic exercises to help improve the health of heart, breathing exercises can also help strengthen your lung by making it function more efficiently.

1)   4-7-8 Breathing

How to start?

  1. Lie down on your bed comfortably and close your eyes.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth.
  3. breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds
  4. hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds
  5. Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds.
  6. Repeat the whole pattern 4-8 times.

Benefits: It can help decrease anxiety, control emotional responses and bring the body into a state of deep relaxation, making it easier for you to fall asleep.

Breathing exercises for anxiety and stress relief

2)   Sama Vritti Pranayama

How to start?

  1. Sit comfortably and relax your body, give yourself some good breath.
  2. Slowly inhale by your nose and count to four; hold your breath and slowly exhale, count to four. Always keep your breathing rhythm is same length.
  3. Repeat the whole pattern 10-12 times. You may also try to extend to inhale and exhale for 6s, 8s or 10s.

Benefits: You can practice it anywhere and anytime, it can help you to fall asleep easier.

Breathing exercises for anxiety and stress relief

3)   Abdominal Breathing Technique

How to start?

  1. Lie down on your bed comfortably, close your eyes and place your palms on your stomach. Take some good breath.
  2. Begin by inhale with your nose, tighten your core; you may feel your diaphragm move when you breathe. Hold for four seconds.
  3. After inhale, exhale with your mouth slowly.
  4. Practice 10 minutes on a daily basis; perform 6 sets of breathing every minute.

Benefits: It can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Besides, it improves your stability of your core muscle.

Breathing exercises for anxiety and stress relief
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4)   Nadi Shodhana

How to start?

  1. Sit comfortably and relax your body, close your eyes.
  2. Place your left palm on your thigh;
  3. Press your right nostril with your right thumb, inhale deeply with your left nostril, then count to four.
  4. After inhale, press your left nostril with left thumb, exhale slowly with your right nostril.
  5. Repeat this pattern for 6-10 times.

Benefits: You can practice it anywhere and anytime, it helps you with anxiety and stress relief.

Breathing exercises for anxiety and stress relief

5)   Skull Shining Breath

How to start?

  1. Sit comfortably and relax your body, close your eyes.
  2. Place your palms on your thighs, keep your mouth close;
  3. Deeply inhale with your nose; tighten your core muscle then exhale with your nose, push all the air out from your body powerfully.

Benefits: It helps to clear your sinuses, lungs, and respiratory system of allergens.

Breathing exercises for anxiety and stress relief

6)   Progressive Relaxation

How to start?

  1. You may choose to sit down or lay down your body, close your eyes.
  2. Begin by inhale with your nose, count for three seconds; then tighten your core muscle.
  3. Exhale with your mouth, count for five seconds; relax your body and feel your relaxed muscle.
  4. Slowly apply this pattern for different part of your body, relax your body muscle from lower part, then move to upper part.

Benefits: It enhances your control of muscle and relaxes your muscle. Besides, it helps you to sleep better.

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