If you want to begin your meditation journey, a great place to start would be controlled breathing.
Here are three Relaxation Breathing Techniques that are beginner-friendly, do-it-anywhere, and offer immediate and long-term meditation benefits.
Relaxation Breathing Techniques For Anxiety
Diaphragmatic Relaxing Breathing Technique
Diaphragmatic breathing is also referred to as abdominal or belly breathing. It is a method that involves your diaphragm, a muscle located in your abdomen. You can improve your breathing efficiency by training your diaphragm to expand your lungs effectively.
The benefits of the diaphragmatic breathing technique extend across your whole body. Regularly practicing this form of breathing can decrease stress levels, reduce blood pressure, and help manage other critical bodily functions.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Start by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position
- Place one hand on your stomach, just below the navel, and the other on your chest
- Inhaling slowly, allow your belly to expand like a balloon
- Your chest should not expand as you inhale
- Exhale gently, allowing your belly to return to the starting position
Repeat the above steps daily, taking four to five deep breaths in the morning, during stressful moments, and before bedtime. Over time, your body and mind will adapt to this mindfulness and breath, which can promote relaxation and calmness and help control anxiety.
Box Breathing Relaxation Technique
Box breathing, also sometimes called four-square or square breathing, focuses on practicing slow, deliberate, and deep breaths. It is a form of intermittent breath retention involving a structured pattern of inhaling, holding, exhaling, and holding the breath.
A 2023 study shows controlled breathing methods like box breathing can remarkably improve mood and relieve stress. That is why box breathing is one method the Navy SEALs use to calm down in high-stress environments.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Sit comfortably and exhale all the air from your lungs
- While counting to four, inhale slowly through your nose
- Hold your breath for a count of four
- Exhale gently through your mouth, again counting to four
- Repeat this cycle three to five times
Alternate-Nostril Yogic Breathing Technique For Relaxation
Alternate nostril yoga breathing is a method for regulating breath and has many benefits.
For example, a study reported in the Journal of Education and Health Promotion showed that individuals with hypertension who engaged in Alternate-Nostril Yoga Breathing exercises twice daily, with each session lasting ten minutes over five days, experienced a notable reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Moreover, their heart rates also improved significantly than the controlled group.
There are many variations of alternate nostril breathing, but the two most common are:
- Anulom Vilom.This pranayama involves conscious inhalation through one nostril and exhalation through the other.
- Nadi Shodhana.Like Anulom Vilom, this technique entails breathing through one nostril and then the other. During inhalation, there is a brief pause while holding the breath.
- Sit comfortably with your right hand resting on your knee
- Gently close your left nostril using your left thumb
- Inhale slowly through your right nostril
- Release the left nostril and close the right nostril with your ring finger
- Exhale through the left nostril
- Inhale through the left nostril, then switch again
- Repeat this pattern for 10 to 12 rounds
You can integrate this practice with your yoga or meditation routine or use it as a standalone method to induce mental calmness.
Incorporating these methods into your daily routine can help reduce stress and high blood pressure. Consistent breathwork practice can help achieve inner peace and clarity, cultivating a profound inner transformation. Remember, mindfulness is a journey. Only practice and patience can unlock its incredible benefits and guide you toward a more mindful, fulfilling life.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is an ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed the Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says, “Age is just a number!”
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is general and for information only because it doesn’t consider your health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalized health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should determine if the information is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.