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Deep breathing exercises can be a very powerful tool to use when you want to get control of your state of mind or reduce stress and tension.

Andrew Weil, MDIf you are going through a period of high stress or change, such as a new work environment, weight loss, or trying to quit smoking; deep breathing exercises can make you feel more centered, more relaxed, more in control and relieved of stress.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Here’s the first breathing exercise we just discussed on the previous page. Start by taking a break. If you’re trapped at work and can’t take a break, just do the breathing exercises while sitting at your desk. The breathing exercises will still have a calming impact.

Relax – relax your arms, shoulders, neck, and even close your eyes. Slowly inhale through your nose to the count of 5, drawing the air down into your abdomen. Slowly exhale through your mouth to the count of 6. Repeat until your breathing is regular and steady. Continue for about 2 minutes.

With every slow inhale and long exhale, you should feel more relaxed. You can also enhance your feeling of inner peace by focusing your thoughts or things that are calming and relaxing to you while doing the breathing exercises. Clearing your mind while practicing breathing exercises is even better. Just let thoughts go.

Muscle Relaxation Breathing

Add these steps to your breathing exercises. Clear your mind of stressful thoughts. It’s all about you and your breathing right now. Nothing else. Mentally scan your body, notice the areas that feel tense or cramped and release them. Rotate your head in a smooth circular motion, right to left and left to right once or twice very slowly. Roll your shoulders forward and backward a few times. Let all of your muscles completely relax. Continue inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly until you feel completely relaxed.

Relax with Stress Relief Videos

If you find yourself mind-racing, and you just can’t seem to let those stressful thoughts go, just click on one of the stress relief imagery meditation videos on this page. You probably know by now that the videos have a calming effect and can help you release stressful thoughts. Just focus on the tranquil imagery and be willing to let go.

Stress Relief Music

Combine your breathing exercises with your favorite music. Select the type of music that you find man breathing with his arms stretched out to the side in a fieldsoothing or calming, and make sure it will play without interruption. Relax using Affirmations. Once you are comfortable performing the breathing exercises, add positive self-talk or what some call positive affirmations to the mix. Identify your self-talk. Is it positive or negative? Do you put yourself down? Do you secretly tell yourself that you will never have what you desire? It is important to identify negative self-talk and replace it with healthy, positive self-talk. Positive self-talk and calming mental imagery can help you focus on relaxation and create harmony in your mind and body. Here are some positive thoughts that can enhance your breathing exercises, but come up with statements that work specially for you:

Enhance Your Breathing Exercises

  • My neck and shoulders are letting go
  • I am calm and in control
  • Breathing deeply is soothing and relaxing
  • I feel centered and calm
  • I am refreshed and ready for anything

To whatever decree you decide to use breathing exercises, deep breathing is a powerful tool that can give you control over stress and anxiety. Breathing is a simple yet underutilized stress relief technique that can induce a relaxed state of mind. Give it a try and see what it does for you.


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