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INSTANT RELIEF: Breathing exercises for stress reduction

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It’s no secret that deep breathing exercises can help to reduce anxiety, stress, fatigue, restlessness, difficulty sleeping and physical discomfort. Science has proven that breathing exercises increase our oxygen intake and calm our mind. [1]

What is the purpose of breathing exercises?

If you’re stressed out, overworked or sleep-deprived there are plenty of ways to regain a sense of calm that don’t involve complicated procedures or difficult routines.  In fact, one of the best relaxation methods is completely free. All you need your breath and 15 minutes of time to practice mindful breathing exercises. They are easy to learn and can be practiced anywhere, at any time.

Below are some simple exercises to help you connect with your breath.

Box breathing

Box breathing, sometimes also referred to as four-square breathing, is usually used to reset, calm down and refocus. 

- Inhale for 4 seconds 

- Hold your breath for 4 seconds 

- Exhale for 4 seconds 

- Hold your lungs empty for 4 seconds

Just a few minutes of this exercise will make you calm down and help you focus on your tasks without making you feel sleepy.

4-7-8 breathing

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is often used in meditation or other relaxation techniques like yoga and pranayama, which is all about helping people learn how to gain control over their breath. Practice 4-7-8 breathing before bed as it helps to fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality.

- Inhale for 4 seconds

- Hold your breath for 7 seconds

- Exhale slowly for 8 seconds

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a breathing exercise developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. When practiced regularly, it’s possible that this technique could help some people fall asleep in a shorter period of time.

Coherent breathing

Coherent Breathing is a form of breathing which involves taking long, slow breaths at a rate of about six per minute. 

- Inhale for 4 seconds

- Exhale for 6 seconds 

Repeat the cycle for a few times while consciously focusing on your breath in order to feel more calm. Coherent breathing, also referred to as deep breathing, helps to calm the body through its effect on the autonomic nervous system.

Take a deep breath

We are all equipped with a natural stress response that's designed to help us deal with dangerous situations. This fight-or-flight response can help you survive; however, it can negatively impact our health and overall well-being when it's constantly maximized during everyday stresses. 

Mindful breathing exercises are designed to bring your body into a state of calm and relaxation. Particular breathing patterns which involve holding the breath for a specific period of time, allow your body to replenish its oxygen.

Don’t worry if you won’t be able to perform a full exercise the first time, take a deep breath and keep trying.  You will get there. After all, practice makes perfect. 

Mudita Moment features the mindful addition of 15 dots and the seconds hand which enable you to practice breathing exercises anytime and anywhere. 

It’s the simplest and best tool for personal wellness because it’s always with you and acts not only as a guiding mechanism, but also a reminder to pause, slow down, and take a deep breath. 

If you'd like to learn more about Mindful Breathing and why it matters please take a look at our page dedicated to the subject or read our recent blog post about the importance of breathing exercises.

If you’d like to read more about topics connected to this subject, please check out some of our other articles posted on our blog:

You might also like to join our FORUM Community where we discuss ideas and exchange information about all things connected to wellness and overall health & well-being.

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