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4 Breathing Exercises for Stress, Anxiety, and Worry

Are you concerned, stressed, or anxious? Are you distracted or overwhelmed by everyday life? You’re not alone. Stress and anxiety impact the health of many people over 45. Breathing exercises might help you control these sensations and improve your health.

Focusing on your breath during breathing exercises helps relieve tension, anxiety, and concern. These exercises involve taking calm, deep breaths and paying attention to breathing.

I know how hard it is to handle stress and anxiety because I’ve dealt with them myself. Chronic stress and worry had been harming my health, relationships, and quality of life for years. Breathing exercises helped me control my symptoms, and I was astonished.

I’ve created this list of 10 breathing exercises to relieve tension, anxiety, and worry. Simple, easy-to-do workouts may be done anywhere, anytime. These exercises help soothe your mind and body at home, work, or move.

Now, remember, you can master these exercises simply by taking your time and having grace.

Blonde young woman doing breathing exercise during yoga practice at home

Photo Credits By Envato ElementsBreathing techniques have several advantages beyond relaxation:

Slow, deep breaths help us concentrate on the present and cleanse our brains. I know this practice seems silly since breathing comes naturally, but how you breathe can make a huge difference in your lifestyle. For example, deep breathing relaxes the body and mind, making it simpler to fall asleep and sleep well. Breathing exercises generally activate the relaxation response, reducing anxiety and tension. Deep breathing, for example, improves circulation and oxygenation, which may boost health.

The best part? You can practice these exercises anytime and anywhere, thanks to the simplicity of the techniques. No props, no accessories, no trainer – just you and your body. Whenever you’re agitated or nervous, take a few calm, deep breaths, and you’ll instantly feel the difference.


4-7-8 breathing

“Relaxing breath” or 4-7-8 breathing helps soothe the mind and body. Based on yoga and pranayama (breathing exercises), this practice entails inhaling for four counts, holding for seven, and expelling for eight.

4-7-8 breathing lowers blood pressure and heart rate. It reduces tension, and anxiety, while promotes relaxation and serenity. The method is straightforward to learn, and you can do it anywhere. In other words, this is a practical tool for controlling everyday stress and anxiety. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Sit comfortably and press the tip of your tongue on the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth.

  • Whoosh out your exhalation.
  • Inhale softly through your nose for four counts.
  • Breathe for seven seconds.
  • Exhale with a whoosh for eight counts.

Maintaining a steady cadence and not forcing breath is crucial. Relaxed and comfortable technique. Keep your mind on your breath and avoid distractions. Start with two to three breaths and increase to eight, and that’s it!


Belly breathing

Belly breathing, sometimes called diaphragmatic or deep breathing, expands the belly during intake and contracts it during expiration. It is a simple yet effective technique that calms the mind and body and has many health advantages.

This practice reduces tension and anxiety. Stress causes shallow, fast breathing, which raises heart rate and blood pressure. Deep belly breaths slow the breath and stimulate the relaxation response, reducing tension and anxiety.

Belly breathing improves respiratory function and blood oxygenation. Deep belly breathing uses the maximum lung capacity, improving respiratory function and blood oxygenation. This may help asthmatics and COPD patients (COPD).

  • Sit with your feet flat and your hands on your tummy to practice belly breathing.
  • Breathe deeply through your nose to enlarge your belly.
  • Exhale, compressing your stomach.
  • Visualize your lungs and tummy expanding as you inhale.
  • Visualize exhaling and squeezing your belly.

Maintaining a steady cadence and not forcing breath is crucial. Relaxed and comfortable technique. Keep your mind on your breath and avoid distractions.

Start with two to three breaths and increase to 10. Belly breathing may be done daily or when stressed or anxious.

Alternate nostril breathing technique

Photo Credits By Envato ElementsAlternate nostril breathing

Alternate nostril breathing

Alternate nostril breathing, or Nadi Shodhana in Sanskrit, is a common yoga pranayama (breath control) method. This approach reduces tension and anxiety, improves attention and clarity, and balances the brain’s right and left hemispheres.

  • Sit in a straight-backed, relaxed posture to practice alternating nostril breathing.
  • Put your left hand on your lap or knee and seal your right nostril with your right thumb.
  • Close your left nostril with your ring finger after inhaling deeply.
  • Exhale and inhale via your right nostril.
  • Finally, exhale via your left nostril.

Take deep, calm breaths through each nostril for many rounds. Start slowly and increase the time as you become used to the method. Breathing smoothly and evenly without jerking is also vital.

Focus on your breath and the present moment while doing alternative nostril breathing. This may relax and balance the mind.

Choose your preferred alternative nostril breathing method. Some individuals add retention (kumbhaka) after inhaling or exhaling, while others favor continuous breathing. Try a 4:4:4 or 4:8 inhalation-exhalation ratio.


Deep Breathing

Everyone can relax with deep breathing. It requires diaphragmatic breathing rather than chest breathing.

The main perks, in this case, are reduced stress and anxiety, improved blood pressure and heart rate, better digestion, and deeper sleep. Moreover, this practice also boosts the immune system, attention, and clarity.

This practice is best done in a calm, straight-backed stance as follows:

  • Put your hands on your chest and belly.
  • Inhale to fill your tummy and expand it.
  • Exhaling, gently squeeze your tummy to expel the air.

EXTRA TIP: Place a book or small cushion on your abdomen to picture the breath.

Make sure to avoid forceful or choppy breathing. Once you become used to deep breathing, start with a few minutes and progressively increase it. To control breath, add detention (kumbhaka) following inhalation, exhalation, or count. Inhale, hold, and exhale for four counts.

Deep breathing may also improve your mental and emotional health. It calms and balances the psyche. It may also help you connect with your breath and the present, which helps reduce stress and destructive emotions.



Voilà! There are your ten breathing techniques for stress, anxiety, and concern. This list should inspire you to open up to each method and try it out. I know that you may find relief and improve your health with effort and determination because I’ve been there. In fact, these techniques have been working wonders for my friends too!

Remember: breathing exercises work best when done daily. Choose a regular time and location to practice deep breathing, whether in the morning, during lunch, or before night. If you’re ever stressed, anxious, or worried, refer to this list of breathing exercises for help.

Lastly, be gentle to yourself while you try these methods. It’s acceptable if you don’t master them immediately or if specific exercises work better for you. Keep experimenting and be open to what works best.

Thanks for reading this article! Do you have any recommendations or personal experiences you’d like to share with us? If so, make sure to leave a comment below to help our community thrive!

You might also like: 10 Mindfulness Exercises That Reduce Anxiety

Passionate about cognitive psychology and data research, Tudor aims to highlight the importance of prioritizing self-care regardless of age, gender, or nationality. For over two years, he has been prioritizing extensive research in mindfulness and meditation techniques delivered to everyday people in a simple, meaningful manner.

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