3 Breathing Techniques to Immediately Reduce Stress

One of the most powerful tools you have is your breath, and when you’ve hit your max stress level it’s so easy to forget to use it.

I’ve been using breathing tools personally and with my clients lately, and these 3 are the most powerful:

  1. Balance Breath
    This is my own technique that I teach in my “Balance for Busy People” talk and it’s super simple! As the name implies, you want your breath to be balanced. Choose the duration that works for you – I find that inhaling to the count of 5 and then exhaling to the count of 5 works really well. Maybe start with a count of 3, or even 10 if you’re feeling adventurous!  🙂
  2. Vagus Nerve Relaxing Breath
    My personal favorite is this one. For those who aren’t nerds like me, the Vagus nerve stretches from your brain to your stomach (and also contributes to why some of us feel anxiety in our bellies.) For this breathing technique you want your exhale to be longer than your inhale. I love starting with a 4 and 8 count. Inhale for the count of 4 and exhale for the count of 8. This is also a great one to help you fall asleep at night!
  3. Box Breath
    Picture a box or square – it has 4 sides. This breath is broken into 4 parts just like a box and is done to the count of 4 as well. Lots of 4s here! Start by inhaling to the count of 4, then hold for 4, then exhale for 4, then hold for 4. Repeat as many times as you’d like (maybe 4 times!) until you feel less stressed.

Have another favorite technique? There are tons of them out there – the Yoga Release Breath where you breathe in through your nose and then audibly exhale through your mouth; the 4-7-8 breath where you inhale for 4, hold for 7 and exhale for 8; and so many more. Comment with your fave so we can all move through these stressful times with more tools and more ease.

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