What causes stress in your life? Is it the inconveniences in your life or your responsibilities that make your life stressful? Whatever it may be, you need to overcome your stress and lead a peaceful life so that life means a lot more to you than just mere existence. Stress makes your life a living hell, it takes out all the happiness from you as you lose control over your thoughts and emotions. In the competitive world with a more competitive life, it may be difficult to root out the actual cause of your stress and anxiety. However, you can control your mind and emotions and keep stress to minimal level if you know how. Exercise is the best way to deal with tension. There are various exercises in this line but breathing exercises are the most effective method to reduce tension, strain and anxiety. Here are some breathing exercises that can help you reduce your tension and live a better life. Read on!

Breathing Exercises For Anxiety 

Chinese Holistic Exercises
This exercise can be done sitting, standing or lying down, according to your convenience. However, the most preferred position is sitting though.

  • Sit straight, keeping your backbone erect. You should keep your hands comfortably resting either on your lap or thighs. Now, look ahead and close your eyes slowly.
  • Inhale indicates taking in fresh air deep into your lungs through nose and exhale implies breathing out through your mouth.
  • Touch the palate with the tip of your tongue, just behind the upper teeth and maintain that position throughout the exercise.
  • Now, start inhaling slowly to a count of four seconds.  Stop inhaling when you reach the maximum holding capacity of your lungs (vital capacity). Hold the inhaled air in your lungs for about seven seconds and start exhaling it slowly, taking about eight seconds to give out all the air in your lungs.
  • Pause for 4-5 seconds and then proceed toward the next round of inhalation. This pause between two successive breaths is very therapeutic. Repeat this exercise for about 10-2 times to start with. You may increase it up to 25-30 when you proceed. You may do this exercise whenever you feel tensed or stressed out.
  • This exercise helps calm your mind and regulates your breathing. It has significant effect in toning nervous system and balancing emotions.
  • You can do this exercise wherever you want-just need to be a calm place so that you can concentrate.
  • Stop if you feel that you lost your breath. Pause for a while and then proceed.
  • You may listen to soothing music or instrument if you want to. 

Simple Abdominal Breathing Exercise for Relaxation
This exercise is to be performed sitting, but you may do it lying down or standing as well. You need to be comfortable while doing this exercise. Calm atmosphere with nothing to distract your attention is preferred.

  • Start by inhaling deeply, filling your lungs fully.  Relax your shoulders and expand your abdomen, making sure that your chest does not rise. Inhaling should be slow and steady.
  • Exhale slowly through mouth taking about double the time you took to inhale.  Purse your lips slightly so that you hear a whooshing sound as you exhale, but keep your jaws relaxed.
  • Repeat this exercise several times, 10-20 times to start with. You may increase the number as you proceed. 

Caution: If you feel that your anxiety is increasing when you do this exercise, then stop doing this. This may be due to some panic disorder that adds to your present condition. If that is the case, then you may take rest for some time and try this exercise again. 

Stress Relief Exercises
This exercise not only relieves tension, but also cleanses your lungs and increases your energy levels. To do this exercise, you should lie down on a smooth, flat surface. You may tuck pillows under your neck and knees if you want. 

  • Place your hands down on your stomach, on the base of your rib cage so that the middle fingers just touch each other.
  • Take a deep breath so that your lungs are filled up, gradually moving the middle fingers apart at the same time. Make sure that you fill your lungs to their maximum capacity (vital capacity) and then exhale slowly.
  • Repeat this exercise several times a day or whenever you feel tensed. 

Humming Exercises

  • This is an excellent breathing exercise to control your emotions and feel relaxed.
  • Sit straight, hold your backbone in an erect position, and exhale out the air in your lungs. Relax your muscle in the meantime.
  • Start taking in air filling your lungs to their maximum capacity and hold the breath for some time. Exhale it with a humming sound and try to sustain this sound as long as possible. You may feel the resonance of this sound in your brain for some time. You may substitute the hum sound with ‘Om’ if you want. 

Breathing Exercises For Anxiety

  • Stand keeping your feet wide apart and concentrate on breathing.
  • Inhale deeply, raising your hands above head with palms upward position.
  • Hold the breath for some time and keep the hands in this position till you hold your breath.
  • Breathe out slowly and bring down your hands to original position. Repeat this exercise several times. 

Yoga Breathing Exercises
This is an exercise commonly performed during yoga. You need to sit comfortably to perform this exercise.

  • Now, bring your right hand to your nose.
  • Place your ring finger and small finger on the left nostril and thumb on the right nostril. Close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale slowly through the left nostril counting up to four.
  • Close the left nostril using the ring finger and little finger and exhale through the right nostril.
  • Now do the vice versa. Repeat this exercise many times and anxiety will disappear. 

Mentioned above were some important breathing exercises that can effectively change your stress-filled life to a happy one. Practice them regularly for a better mindset with proper control over your thoughts and emotions.