Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Even after one deep breath, you can probably start feeling a difference. Guided and intentional breathing exercises help you deal with anxiety and stress. Anyone who performs yoga or meditation regularly is quite familiar with the term. Let's have a closer look at different guided breathing exercises and their benefits.
What are Guided Breathing Exercises?
Guided breathing exercises mean intentionally controlling inhaling and exhaling to feel relaxation or calmness in the mind. For example, start counting slowly and take a deep breath in 1, hold it in 2, and then release in 3.
You may have noticed when you are nervous or stressed, your breaths are fast and shallow. During these times, the air doesn't flow properly through your body. Taking slow and deep breaths in these moments will result in proper airflow and will reduce anxiety.
4-4-4 box breathing and 4-7-8 relaxing breathing are two of the most popular deep breathing exercises. Before you know how to practice these, follow the instructions below to make the best of your breathing exercises:
⦁ Choose a place where you feel comfortable. It can be your bed, living room floor, or a chair.
⦁ Ensure the location is quiet and free from distractions.
⦁ Wear comfortable clothes.
⦁ Do it at the same time every day.
4-4-4 Box Breathing
Box breathing, also known as square breathing, is a deep breathing technique where you inhale, hold, and exhale your breath for an equal time. It is a powerful relaxation technique. From athletes to navy, nurses, and doctors, everyone practices box breathing.
For doing box breathing exercises, breath normally for a minute and then follow the steps below:
Step 1: Breath in through your nose slowly while counting to 4.
Step 2: Avoid exhaling and hold your breath for 4 seconds.
Step 3: Exhale slowly through your mouth while counting to 4.
Repeat the process a few times until you feel relaxed and stress-free.
5 Benefits of 4-4-4 Box Breathing:
⦁ Counting in mind diverts your attention and can help you deal with panic and stress.
⦁ It helps you refocus after a busy day of work.
⦁ Performing box breathing before sleeping can get you better sleep at night.
⦁ It decreases your stress hormone cortisol to improve your mood.
⦁ It keeps you calm throughout the day.
4-7-8 Relaxing Breathing
4-7-8 breathing requires more focus, and you can do it anywhere, anytime you want. This rhythmic breathing technique is an essential part of many meditations and especially of yoga practices.
Follow the steps below to practice 4-7-8 breathing:
Step 1: Inhale slowly for 4 seconds and feel the air in your lungs.
Step 2: Stay calm and hold your breath for about 7 seconds.
Step 3: Now exhale slower in 8 seconds.
Practicing it twice a day for best results.
5 Benefits of 4-7-8 Relaxing Breathing:
⦁ It helps you reduce anxiety significantly.
⦁ It lowers blood pressure and improves heart rate.
⦁ It improves your concentration.
⦁ Performing it can help you deal with anger issues.
⦁ Studies also showed people who practice 4-7-8 breathing feel less pain.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique requires more time to perform compared to the 4-4-4 box breathing. If you are new to breathing exercises, you may start with box breathing, as 4-7-8 can feel tough for you. While exercises help to reduce anxiety and stress and get better sleep, the 4-7-8 is more effective for calming, and the 4-4-4 for focus. These exercises, alongside Tok Wellness support supplements, calm breathing straw, and Tok Mind tincture can help promote a calm lifestyle.