Are you feeling overwhelmed or stressed out? Do you find it hard to focus on tasks or feel like your mind is constantly racing? If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with anxiety and stress in today’s fast-paced world. But, there’s good news – there are simple breathing exercises you can do to calm your mind and boost your mood. Here are seven mindful breathing exercises to try:
1. Abdominal breathing: Also known as diaphragmatic breathing, this exercise involves breathing deeply from the belly rather than shallowly from the chest. Start by placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your belly rise and your chest stay still. Exhale through your mouth, pushing out all the air and feeling your belly fall.
2. Box breathing: This technique is used by Navy SEALs to stay calm in high-stress situations. Start by breathing in for four seconds, holding your breath for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds, and holding your breath for four seconds. Repeat for several minutes.
3. Counting breaths: Find a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in and count to four, then exhale and count to four. Repeat for several minutes, focusing your mind on the counting.
4. Alternate nostril breathing: This exercise is great for balancing the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Start by closing your right nostril with your thumb and inhaling through your left nostril. Then, close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril, close it with your thumb, and exhale through your left nostril. Repeat for several minutes.
5. Humming breath: Start by inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling through your mouth while making a humming sound. This exercise can help calm the nervous system and reduce stress.
6. Ocean breath: This exercise is also known as ujjayi breath. Start by inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your nose while constricting the back of your throat, creating a “ocean wave” sound. This exercise can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety.
7. Breath awareness: This exercise involves simply focusing on your breath and observing it without judgment. Find a comfortable position and close your eyes. Focus your attention on your breath, noticing the sensation of air entering and leaving your body. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath.
Incorporating these breathing exercises into your daily routine can help you feel more calm, centered, and focused. Try them out and see which ones work best for you. Remember, mindfulness takes practice, so be patient and kind to yourself as you develop your practice.