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High levels of stress can change the way we breathe. It can lead to faster, more shallow breathing and sometimes result in dizziness and even more stress.
Breathing exercises can help you calm down. The more you practise breathing exercises, the easier you’ll find it to use them in your everyday life.
Here are 5 breathing exercises for stress you can try. Before you start, sit in a comfortable position and relax your chest and shoulders.
Abdominal breathing can reduce stress and lower blood pressure. It’s a technique that’s used in many forms of meditation and relaxation. Abdominal breathing encourages you to pay more attention to your breathing. This helps you to recognise when you’re stressed so you can adjust your breathing accordingly.
To do the exercise, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take note of the pace and depth of your breathing, then:
Try doing deep breathing exercises regularly to reduce stress and get better at controlling your breathing when you’re under pressure.
To practise this exercise:
Alternate nostril breathing can help you relax and lower your heart rate. Breathe evenly and steadily throughout the exercise.
To complete this exercise:
Do this for 5 minutes. Breathe the final breath out through your left nostril.
Pick a different exercise if you have a blocked nose.
This is known as lion’s pose in yoga and simhasana in Sanskrit. If stress causes tightness in your chest or face, this exercise may relieve tension in those areas. You may want to practise somewhere private as it’s a noisy exercise.
To do this exercise:
There are different positions you can use when doing this exercise, like sitting back on your heels.
This breathing technique is also known as bhramari. It can help you calm down quickly, relieve tension in your forehead and ease feelings of frustration, anger and anxiety. To do this:
Continue this exercise until you feel more relaxed.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.