Take a deep breath. Learn five self-care breathing techniques to unleash calm and relaxation – and change your life!
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Change Your Life With These Self-Care Breathing Techniques
Do you ever feel like your life is spinning out of control? That the stress and chaos of day-to-day living has taken its toll on your mental wellbeing? You’re not alone. Millions of people find themselves in this same boat, struggling to cope with their hectic lives.
But there’s hope. We can all learn how to unleash our inner calm through self-care breathing techniques that can change your life. In this article, we’ll discuss five easy ways to help you reduce anxiety and restore balance in your life.
Let’s dive in!
One popular breathing technique is called 2-to-1 breathing, which requires you to achieve a 2-to-1 ratio, exhaling for twice as long. To do this, sit comfortably with your eyes closed, then inhale and exhale through your nose, making sure each breath (in either direction) lasts three counts.
When you’re comfortable, lengthen your exhale and shorten your inhale until you achieve a 2-to-1 breathing ratio, exhaling for four counts and inhaling for two.
Each inhalation brings oxygen into your body while each exhalation releases tension from your muscles, so just focus on the sensation of air moving through you as much as possible during this exercise. Continue for around five minutes or until you’re ready to move to another activity.
Box breathing, or square breathing as it’s sometimes called, is a powerful self-care technique that can help you calm your mind and body. It’s an easy to follow four-step process that requires no special equipment:
- Step 1: Inhale deeply for four seconds.
- Step 2: Hold your breath for four seconds.
- Step 3: Exhale slowly for four seconds.
- Step 4: Pause before repeating the cycle.
The goal of box breathing is to slow down your heart rate by increasing oxygen intake. As you inhale deeply and hold your breath during the pause period, blood flow increases throughout the body – particularly in those areas where stress accumulates, such as the chest, neck, shoulders and head.
This helps reduce tension and increases focus and clarity because of the increased oxygen absorption into the bloodstream during every breath retention phase.
Box breathing can be used anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious; enabling you to take control of your emotions instead of letting them control you. Even taking just a few minutes per day to practice this simple yet effective technique can have profound effects on our overall well being.
By using box breathing frequently, you can learn how to manage your thoughts better over time so that you feel less reactive and more composed when faced with stressful situations.
IF YOU NEED HELP TRAINING YOUR BREATH, TRY THESE TOOLS!
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing, or nadi shodhana pranayama in Sanskrit, is a powerful ancient yogic technique that can help create balance in the body and mind. It’s an easy-to-learn practice that has calming effects, making it perfect for reducing stress.
To begin, find a comfortable seated position with your spine long and straight. Place one hand on your belly to ensure you’re breathing deeply throughout this exercise. With the other hand, hold up your pointer finger and thumb together then use them to alternately block each nostril while inhaling or exhaling through just one at a time.
The goal of Alternate Nostril Breathing isn’t about achieving perfection – it’s about finding harmony within yourself as you become aware of any imbalances within your body.
Take time to breathe in this way to restore your mental clarity so you can make better decisions during stressful times. When practice regularly, this simple yet effective technique can help you feel calmer but also more connected to our innermost selves.
Watch Adriene of Yoga With Adriene demonstrate this wonderful breathing technique:
Also called “abdominal breathing” or “belly breathing,” diaphragmatic breathing can be a powerful way to destress and practice mindful breathing. When you practice breathing through your diaphragm, you’ll notice that you use less energy to breathe, you slow your breathing rate, and your diaphragm gets stronger.
To use diaphragmatic breathing for self-care, start by being a comfortable position (either lying or sitting down):
- Step 1: Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage, so you can feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
- Step 2: Breathe in slowly through your nose, making sure that your chest remains as still as possible, while your stomach expands.
- Step 3: Tighten your stomach muscles as you exhale (slowly) through pursed lips. Again, the hand on your upper chest should remain as still as possible.
As with other breathing exercises, diaphragmatic breathing allows you to take deeper breaths and bring mindfulness into your daily lives, helping you to focus on what matters most right now. They also help you break free of any stress or tension.
You’ll have noticed by now that extended exhales are particularly effective at calming your body and mind. Not only do they help you focus on releasing stress and tension, but they also allow you to become more mindful in meditation.
Ujjayi breathing (in English, the Victorious Breath) is a type of yoga breath used throughout yogic practice to connect with the inner self. It focuses on long deep breaths that create an ocean-like sound through contraction of the vocal cords while inhaling and exhaling. This releases endorphins which helps regulate emotion during stressful moments.
The Ujjayi breath also encourages conscious awareness by forcing you to pay attention to your breath, allowing you to find stillness within yourself. By mastering Ujjayi breathing, you’re able to move away from fight-or-flight responses and into a state of peace and relaxation – perfect for pushing through uncomfortable situations like job interviews or public speaking engagements.
Allowing yourself time each day to practice Ujjayi breathing will have tremendous benefits on your emotional regulation as well as overall mental health.
To learn exactly how to do this, please watch the video below:
Choose A Breathing Technique For Self-Care Now!
So, there you have it – five incredible self-care breathing techniques that can help you find your inner calm when life gets a bit too hectic! Each of these methods is designed to help you regain control, reduce anxiety, and bring balance back into your life.
If you’ve never tried any of these techniques before (and are wondering if they can really help), why not give them a go? Take a few minutes each day to practice one or more of these techniques, and see how they impact your overall well-being.
Just like you, many people are discovering the power of these simple yet effective practices. We all need that extra bit of help sometimes, after all. Once you start incorporating these breath exercises into your daily routine, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.
Ready to breathe new life into your self-care routine? Go on, give them a try – your mind and body will thank you!
For more self-care ideas, check out the following posts:
- Your 10-Minute Morning Self-Care Routine For A Successful Day
- 20+ Quick & Easy Ways To Practice Self-Care During Lunch
- The Ultimate Bedtime Self-Care Routine For A Restful Night’s Sleep
- 100+ Unusual Self-Care Ideas To Turbocharge Your Life
Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Care Breathing Techniques
For more information on self-care breathing techniques, check out our Q&As below:
What Type Of Environment Should I Be In When I Practice Self-Care Breathing Techniques?
When it comes to self-care breathing techniques, it’s best for you to be in a quiet place that’s free from distractions.
This could be anywhere – a remote section of your favorite beach, outside in the garden, your bedroom, or a dedicated self-care sanctuary.
Whatever space works best for you, make sure it’s one that brings you peace. Being surrounded by calmness will help clear your mind so that you focus on what matters most: You!
IF YOU NEED HELP TRAINING YOUR BREATH, TRY THESE TOOLS!
How Often Should I Practice These Techniques?
It depends on your lifestyle and the specific goals you’re trying to reach with your practice. That said, it’s recommended to try and fit in a few mindful moments every single day for a consistent self-care practice. After all, even short intervals of deep breaths can lead to noticeable improvements over time.
Can I Practice These Techniques While Lying Down?
Yes, you can definitely practice these techniques while lying down! They can be so relaxing that you might end up falling asleep – perfect if you’re an insomniac like me.
Note: The information on this website is for general information only, and is not a substitute for medical, financial, or legal advice. You, or anyone you are concerned about, are encouraged to seek independent medical, legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances. If you or the person you are concerned about appear at risk of self-harm or harm to others, please seek immediate professional assistance.