The best breathing exercises to help reduce stress
Breathing exercises have many benefits to our health. They can help make our lungs more effective and may be good for reducing stress and lowering the severity of symptoms that affect the respiratory system.
Evidence shows that slow breathing exercises have been proven to calm us down and alter the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our “fight or flight” response in stressful situations. In addition, slow breathing is also linked to lower levels of anger, anxiety, confusion, and depression.
Although breathing exercises to help reduce stress do not necessarily prevent any forms of disease or sickness, they do help ventilate and strengthen the lungs which may lessen the impact of such diseases to the respiratory system. Below we will cover a few simple breathing exercises to go by.
Pursed Lip Breathing
In comparison, pursed lip breathing can bring more oxygen into our lungs than regular breathing. It also reduces the amount of breaths we take every minute, which keeps our airways open for longer.
- Breathe in through nose with mouth closed for several counts
- Before exhaling, purse lips like blowing out a candle
- While keeping lips pursed, breathe out all air slowly
- Exhale for more counts than inhaled
- Repeat several times
This exercise uses deep breathing and gradual movements, which helps with better pulmonary function and lung capacity.
- Rest tip of tongue behind top front teeth
- Place one hood on chest, the other hand on lower stomach
- Breathe deeply through nose with stomach expanding toward hand
- Exhale while feeling stomach contract inward
- Practice the routine 9 to 10 times
Hum and Exhale
Humming can assist in pulling in oxygen into the lungs. In yoga, it is similar to the “om” chant. For some, humming can also be very relaxing.
- Rest tongue on roof of mouth
- Breathe in deeply and slowly through nose while keeping lips closed
- When lungs are full of air, exhale while humming
- Repeat several times
Whether we are stressed from one thing or another, these breathing exercises to help reduce stress will be key to achieving a relaxing and meditating state. These practices can also help rebuild lung capacity and aid recovery from health complications such as pneumonia. We hope this guide will help improve your quality of life.