Can breathing exercises reduce stress?

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Breathing is a simple exercise you can do to immediately reduce stress and anxiety. 

It seems so basic, yet it works very effectively. Breathing exercise work by signaling to your brain that you are safe and not under any danger.

Before we get to the breathing exercises, let’s take a look at stress and what it does to our body.

We all know that stress is bad for us yet we tend to accept stress as our fate. Indeed, we do have hectic lives and we are multi-tasking everything possible.  

Some of us have chronic stress and we consider it the new normal in our life. We accept load after load on ourselves until we burnout.

The difference between stressed out and being calm is not the amount of burden in your life, it’s how you handle your burden.

Adjust the weight of the burden and carry it differently.

It’s a fallacy to believe that if somehow you can control all aspects of your life and stick to a regiment and everything will be peaceful. This not only hinders our emotional progress, it also distracts you from focusing on how to beat stress.

Breathing is a simple exercise that you can do anytime and anywhere. Just a few breathing exercises are enough to reduce stress.

When we are nervous or stressed, we automatically start taking shorter breaths. 

Pause and take deep breaths, and your body will understand that it’s not in a stressful situation.

Simple breathing exercises:

  • Box breathing: Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4, breathe out for 4 and hold for 4. Repeat.

  • 4–7–8 breathing: Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 and breathe out for 8. Repeat.

  • Alternate nostril breathing: Close your mouth, block your left nostril with your finger and breathe in deeply. Now let go, block your right nostril and breathe out. Then repeat by breathing in from your right nostril and out from the left. Repeat the sequence a few times.

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