What Are The Best Breathing Exercises For Stress?

Profile image Divuni Mindfulness
   Mental Wellbeing   
Dec 7   
Updated Jun 21
Whether we like it or not, we deal with stress from time to time. Here are some of the best breathing exercises that can help reduce stress, and why they work.
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Whether we like it or not, we find ourselves dealing with stress from time to time. It’s up to us to find the methods that work for us that help us relax and remove stress from our lives.

There are many breathing exercises that can help with reducing stress. Some of these exercises are the Humming Bee breathing, Deep breathing, Sitali breathing, Coherent breathing, Equal breathing, Lion's breath, Diaphragmatic breathing, and Pursed lips breathing.

Finding the best breathing exercises that work for us and help us reduce stress requires an understanding of what breathing exercises are, and which exercises exist.

Let's dive in and understand what breathing exercises are, and give you a few note-worthy options.

What are the best breathing exercises for stress?

There are a variety of breathing exercises for stress, each one with its own instructions on how to perform them. While the exercises themselves may be different when performed, they all share the same benefit of reducing stress by inducing a sense of calmness and relaxation. We just have to better understand each one and see which ones bring us the best results.

Here is a quick breakdown of the breathing exercises we will cover, and what they are good for. Read below for instructions on how to perform each exercise.

Exercise What it's good for
Humming bee breathing This is a great method you can use to remove anger, anxiety, and frustration from your life.
Deep Breathing Deep breathing is very good at relieving things such as shortness of breath.
Sitali Breathing Many find this to be one of the top breathing exercises for stress out there. What it does is lower the body temperature while relaxing your mind naturally.
Coherent Breathing Also known as resonant breathing, this is a technique that allows you to do 5 breaths per minute.
Equal Breathing What you will like about equal breathing is that it encourages you to maintain the exhaling and inhaling lengths the same. It gives you the balance you want, which in turn removes stress and anxiety from your body.
Lion’s Breath This is one of the breathing exercises for stress that everyone can try. It’s great if you want to relieve facial and chest tension.
Diaphragmatic Breathing As the name suggests, this is one of the breathing exercises for stress that helps you learn how to use the diaphragm properly.
Pursed Lips Breathing What this set of breathing exercises for stress does is it allows you to slow down the way you breathe while adding more effort to the process.

Humming bee breathing

What it's good for:
This is a great method you can use to remove anger, anxiety, and frustration from your life.

How to do it:
What you want to do is to stay seated, close your eyes and relax your face. Now you want to place the first fingers on the tragus cartilage. Inhale, and then press the fingers onto that cartilage while exhaling. We recommend keeping the mouth closed while maintaining a humming sound. You can continue doing this for as much time as you want, and it can bring in some amazing benefits.

Deep breathing

What it's good for:
Deep breathing is very good at relieving things such as shortness of breath.

How to do it:
Draw the elbows back and allow your chest to expand a lot more. Then inhale via your nose, and retain the breath as you count to 5. After that, you want to slowly release the breath as you exhale through your nose. We recommend deep breathing because not only does it bring in a great range of benefits, but the quality itself is pretty impressive. It can take some trial and error, but you will find it comforting.

Sitali breathing

What it's good for:
Many find this to be one of the top breathing exercises for stress out there. What it does is lower the body temperature while relaxing your mind naturally.

How to do it:
Stay seated, stick the tongue out, and curl it, so you can bring its outer edges near each other. If you can’t do this, purse your lips. Now you want to inhale via your mouth and exhale via the nose. The main focus here is to breathe for 5 minutes this way. It will help you quite a bit since it eliminates anxiety and stress while making it easier to focus.

Coherent breathing

What it's good for:
Also known as resonant breathing, this is a technique that allows you to do 5 breaths per minute.

How to do it:
The way you do this is you inhale and count to 5, then exhale and count until 5. The great thing is that you can continue doing this for multiple minutes, as long as it feels comfortable to you. It’s actually an idea that works very well, and it will convey some really interesting results. It does take a bit of trial and error, and you will be quite happy with the results and benefits.

Equal breathing

What it's good for:
What you will like about equal breathing is that it encourages you to maintain the exhaling and inhaling lengths the same. It gives you the balance you want, which in turn removes stress and anxiety from your body.

How to do it:
You start seated, and then you breathe via your nose. Count every time you exhale and inhale, and make sure that you take the same amount of time exhaling as you do inhaling. If you want, you can add a pause after every exhale or inhale, as you see fit. Practice this approach for 5 minutes or even a bit more if you can, as it will help you eliminate stress or any signs of anxiety naturally.

Lion’s breath

What it's good for:
This is one of the breathing exercises for stress that everyone can try. It’s great if you want to relieve facial and chest tension.

How to do it:
Start seated, and then press the palms against your knees. Inhale via your nose. Keep your eyes open wide. You also want to open your mouth and stick your tongue out. Now you want to contract the muscles found at the front of the throat and exhale. Then you turn and look at the tip of your nose and continue breathing. Repeating this 2 to 3 times is actually very helpful and therapeutic, so definitely worth a shot.

Diaphragmatic breathing

What it's good for:
As the name suggests, this is one of the breathing exercises for stress that helps you learn how to use the diaphragm properly.

How to do it:
Lie on your back and make sure the knees are slightly bent. Add a pillow under your knees and one under your head. Now you want to place a hand on the upper chest. The other should be under the rib cage. This is when you want to inhale via your nose, and you will feel the stomach pressure right away. You need to keep your hands still, as much as you can. Exhale with the pursed lips method, and you will notice how helpful this really is.

Pursed lips breathing

What it's good for:
What this set of breathing exercises for stress does is it allows you to slow down the way you breathe while adding more effort to the process.

How to do it:
Start by relaxing your shoulders and neck. You also want to keep the mouth closed and exhale via your nose as you count to 2. Purse/pucker your lips just like you would prepare to whistle. Now you just want to exhale slowly by blowing air through your lips, while counting to 4.

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Conclusion

We believe that doing these great breathing exercises for stress can help you remove a lot of stress, anxiety, and even depression from your life. The reality is that breathing exercises are known to help people unwind, and they can remove a lot of nerves too.

It’s a great way to calm down, especially when you are dealing with pressure. Granted, this is not always going to be easy. It requires a bit of trial and error to get things to work, yet it’s very efficient.

We recommend taking your time, avoiding any rush, and giving these breathing exercises for stress a try right now. See which ones work for you and make them a part of your routine.

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