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How to Do Breathing Exercises to Combat Stress

Stress can cause us to feel overwhelmed and out of control, but taking a few moments to do breathing exercises can help us relax and get back on track. Breathing exercises don't require extra tools and can be done right at your desk. This guide will explain how to do breathing exercises and why they are beneficial for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

Breathing Exercises and Stress

Breathing exercises can help to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety by calming the body and mind. Focusing on your breath can bring you into the here and now and help you to relax. When your body is in a state of stress or fear, it responds by increasing your heart rate and breathing rapidly. You can counter this reaction by slowing your heart rate and deepening your breath by engaging in breathing exercises. This can help to dissipate anxious energy and reduce your stress levels.

Benefits of Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can provide several health benefits, such as increased oxygen exchange, slower heart rate, lower or stabilized blood pressure, reduced tension in the abdomen, and reduced feelings of stress or anxiety. Research has shown that regular practice of deep breathing techniques can help minimize many symptoms associated with stress or anxiety. It is recommended that people make deep breathing exercises part of their daily routine to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is a conscious breathing technique that activates the diaphragm—the dome-shaped muscle below the lungs—to help reduce stress, anxiety and other health issues. Taking a few minutes to practice this kind of breathing may positively impact your physical and mental well-being. This practice can also be used when needing a calming effect during moments of stress.

How to Do Diaphragmatic Breathing

Here are three simple steps to doing diaphragmatic breathing:

1. Find a place where you feel safe and relaxed. Take some deep breaths and close your eyes if that helps. Focus on the feeling of your breath. Notice any sensations in your body and be aware of any sounds you can hear. Stay in this position for as long as you want or need.

2. Sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. Take a deep breath through your nose, allowing your belly to expand into the hand on it. Keep your other hand still on your chest. Exhale slowly and steadily out of your mouth with pursed lips. Continue to take slow and deep breaths, focusing on your breathing technique and timing.

3. Take three to five minutes to relax, letting your body and mind become more tranquil as time passes.


Breathing exercises are an effective way to reduce stress. They help people to relax and focus on their breath rather than worrying and getting stuck in thoughts. With practice, individuals can learn to control their breathing and release body tension. It is important to remember that the best way to reduce stress is to focus on the present moment and not worry about the future or the past. Breathing exercises can help reduce stress and allow individuals to focus on their breathing and find inner peace.

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