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  • Writer's pictureMoe | Scarlet Plus

Quick Breathing Trick to Relax in 30 Seconds


Taking deep breaths can help you in many ways, like making you less stressed and more focused.

You breathe without thinking about it most of the time. But when you're feeling stressed, scared, or anxious, you might notice your breathing changes. You can use this to your advantage by using your breath to help you calm down and concentrate when you really need it.

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Breathing Exercise for Controlling your Mental Health

Breathing deeply, using your diaphragm or belly, is a technique that can relax your body and might help with stress, depression, and anxiety. A study from January 2023 in Scientific Reports said that this kind of breathing can really help with mental health.

Here are five 30-second breath work exercises paired with various common life experiences, including expert tips on how to get started.

1. To Help You Focus: Try Box Breathing

Box breathing is easy for beginners and can help if your mind is all over the place at work or you need to concentrate on studying.

To do box breathing, follow these steps:

  1. Find a comfortable seat with your back straight and feet flat on the ground.

  2. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose to the count of four. Fill your lungs completely.

  3. Hold your breath for a count of four. Try not to clench your jaw or hold tension anywhere in your body.

  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of four letting all the breath out.

  5. Hold your breath again for a count of four.

Repeat steps 2 to 5 a few times just paying attention to the movement, sound, and feel of your breath, If a count of four is too difficult, start with a count of two or three and work your way up.


2. To Feel Calm: Try 4-7-8 Breathing

If your mind is still buzzing after a busy day, 4-7-8 breathing might be just what you need. This method, also called the 'relaxing breath,' is a straightforward way to help you feel calm and relaxed. You breathe in and then hold your breath for a while. This pause gives your organs and muscles a little extra oxygen, which helps keep them healthy and energized.

To get started with 4-7-8 breathing, Landry offers the following instructions:

  1. Sit or lie down comfortably, with your back straight and shoulders relaxed.

  2. Close your eyes and take a few normal breaths to settle.

  3. Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of four.

  4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.

  5. Exhale slowly and audibly through your mouth for a count of eight.

  6. Repeat this cycle for a total of four breaths or until you feel more relaxed.

If 4-7-8 is too difficult, start with a 2-4-5 count or a 3-5-6 and work your way up.


3. If You Need a Confidence Boost, Try Lion’s Breath

When you’re preparing for a big presentation at work or getting ready for a job interview, remember to keep lion’s breath in your back pocket.

This technique is great to give a sense of strength. Maybe if you’re not feeling your strongest and need a quick boost.

To get started, she recommends:

  1. Start in your comfortable upright seated position.

  2. Inhale deeply through your nose.

  3. Exhale loudly through an open mouth with a "ha" sound, sticking your tongue out. You can also make a slight growl like a lion in the back of your throat.

This breath can release a lot of tension in the face and jaw, reduce stress, and increase your energy, It definitely would help if you are feeling self-conscious and need to just not take yourself so seriously for a moment.


4. For Better Balance: Try Breathing Through One Nostril at a Time

This breathing method is known in Sanskrit as Nadi Shodhana, and it's good for balancing two parts of your nervous system.

Yoga teachings say that breathing through the left nostril affects the right side of the brain, which helps you relax and digest. Breathing through the right nostril affects the left side of the brain, which gets you ready for action.

If we're too stressed or anxious, we might use our right nostril more. If we're feeling too sluggish or foggy, we probably use our left nostril more. Switching the nostril you breathe through can balance your nervous system and give it a fresh start.

To get started with alternate nostril breathing, Smith suggests:

  1. With your right hand, bend your forefinger and middle finger so the fingertips are resting on the meaty part of your thumb. Bring your thumb to just under the bony part of your right nose. Lift your elbow out to the side so you have space between your lungs and your arm.

  2. Before closing the nostril, inhale. Close the nostril with the thumb and exhale for four. Keep the thumb there and inhale for four. Repeat three to five times and return to normal breathing.

  3. With the ring finger, close the left nostril and open the right. Inhale for four, exhale for four and repeat three to five times before returning to normal breathing.

  4. Inhale, close the right nostril, exhale for four, and inhale for four.

  5. Close the left nostril and open the right. Exhale for four, inhale for four.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for three to five more rounds, then return to normal breathing for a minute or two before repeating them again.

Beginners may want to stick with steps one to three for a few days before building up to steps four and five.


5. If You Need a Quick Stress Reliever, Try Falling-Out Breathing

Falling-out breath is a simple technique that helps release tension and stress by encouraging a deep exhale.

The technique is essentially a few rounds of big sighs, It emphasizes the exhale, signaling to the body that you're safe and helping you to stimulate the rest and digest response,”

Landry offers the following instructions to practice falling out breath:

  1. Stand or sit in a comfortable position, with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

  2. Place your hands on your thighs or your lap.

  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs completely.

  4. Open your mouth and exhale slowly yet strongly, making a long "haa" sound as you release the breath fully.

  5. Allow your body to relax and repeat several times.


Benefits of Breathing Exercises

Many of the breathing exercises above have benefits that have been extensively researched. The science behind why they work revolves around the vagus nerve, which is a part of your brain that is activated when you breathe deeply.

The vagus nerve oversees your mood, digestion and heart rate. Tailored breathing exercises like these stimulate your vagus nerve, helping us respond better to stress and anxiety.

When you practise a breathing exercise, you’ll benefit from:

  • A more relaxed body

  • A lowered heart rate

  • Distraction from anxiety

  • Lowered blood pressure

  • Stress reduction

  • Slower breathing for better energy conservation


When to Seek Professional Help for Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are a normal part of everyday life. But if you’re having symptoms of anxiety that are so severe that they are seriously damaging your ability to lead a normal life, it could be time to seek out professional help.

You could also reach out for anxiety treatment at Wholesome Mind Psychiatry in Mansfield, TX. Our leading provider of care for people with mental health conditions like anxiety and other conditions.


Join Us on Your Journey to Wellness with Wholesome Mind Psychiatry

At Wholesome Mind Psychiatry, we're dedicated to transforming the conversation around mental health, proving that a little understanding, kindness, and open-mindedness can go a long way.

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