Deep Breathing Exercises For Stress Relief

Today we will explore the topic “Deep breathing exercises for stress relief. You will see how breathing exercises could change your life and make the stress you are experiencing more manageable.

Stress is everywhere. Stress is like an uninvited guest that often overstays its welcome. Basically, it shows up, affects our mental clarity, and messes with our physical well-being.

Breating in beauty

So, what exactly is this unrelenting intruder? Stress is our body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. It can be started by any event or thought, moving us into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Our heart rate rises, our breathing quickens, and our muscles tighten.

You might wonder why breathing, something we do without even thinking about it, can be such a powerful tool against stress. There is a scientific reason why it works. Engaging in deep breathing exercises directly influences our autonomic nervous system, which regulates heart rate, muscle tension, and even motivation. By controlling our breathing, we send signals to our brain to calm down and relax. This is not just about a fast fix but about altering our body’s stress response.

One of the main systems in play here is the connection between deep breathing and the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Intentional breathing can ground your emotional state, even amidst chaos.

Let’s face it, our fast-paced world is filled with stressors like deadlines, societal pressures, and health concerns—to name a few. That is why you need to have tools like deep breathing exercises. They do not require special equipment and can be a discreet way to manage your stress levels virtually anywhere and anytime. What can really be better than that?

Practical Deep Breathing Techniques for Immediate Stress Management

Now you are probably wondering how exactly you can use deep breathing to combat stress. Let’s jump right into some effective techniques that you can try right now.

1. Diaphragmatic breathing

The diaphragmatic breathing exercise is a great starting point. This involves breathing deeply into the belly rather than shallow breaths into your chest. To do this, find a quiet spot, sit or lie down comfortably, and place one hand on your belly.

Breathe in slowly through your nose, feeling your stomach rise, and then breathe out through your mouth or nose, feeling your stomach fall. Aim for six to eight breaths per minute, which is significantly lower than the usual fifteen to twenty.

Video created by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

2. The 4-7-8 technique

Next up is the 4-7-8 technique, championed by Dr. Andrew Weil. It’s deceptively simple: you breathe in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale for a count of eight. Not only does this pattern force a slower breathing rate, but it also encourages a full oxygen exchange.

3. Rythmic breathing

Rhythmic breathing can also be highly beneficial, and it is just what it sounds like breathing at a consistent rhythm. The key is the steady pace you maintain throughout the exercise, whether inhaling for five counts or exhaling for another five. It can be especially helpful during activities like walking or running, syncing your breath with your steps.

4. Mindful breathing

Another technique that helps stress relief while fostering greater awareness of the present moment is mindful breathing. 

This can be as simple as paying close attention to your breath and noticing how the air feels entering and leaving your body. In this technique, you also observe the sensations that arise with each breath.

Young Woman Breathing

Remember, you can always adjust and choose how you go about it. As I always keep saying – what works for someone else might not work for you, and that’s perfectly okay. We all are a bit different from each other. Choose something that connects with you, and don’t worry too much about it. There is no perfect way. And the goal here is to reduce stress, not add to it by stressing about the “right way” to breathe. 

Integrating Deep Breathing into Your Daily Life for Long-term Well-being

I am here to help you with turning these deep breathing exercises into a part of your stress management toolkit. It is not just about using them during high-stress situations, where you have no choice but to use something to reduce stress. It is also about implementing them into your daily routine to enhance overall well-being.

How to do it

Establishing a breathing practice might initially seem scary, but it is quite simple. You can always change things later on, but a good start is scheduling short breathing sessions into your day. It can be in the quiet moments in the morning or right before bed, but consistency is your friend here.

A good environment for it can significantly enhance your practice. Choose a quiet corner, perhaps with plants or soft lighting, where you won’t be disturbed. This little sanctuary can be the signal your brain needs to switch into relaxation mode.

What feels good for some might not be for others, and that is perfectly okay. For example, some folks find that combining breathing exercises with meditation or yoga increases their stress-relief efforts. But could be that you might enjoy simply sitting by a window with a view of the trees and sky.

Woman and Lake

And remember if a particular technique doesn’t work for you, don’t worry too much about it. There are a lot of breathing exercises out there, and part of the fun is exploring and finding what best works for you.

I hope that you find these practices beneficial in the chaos of everyday life. By creating this new habit, you are taking a powerful step towards a healthier, more peaceful you. If you ever find yourself needing a little extra encouragement, look to research or stories from others who have found solace in deep breathing. Let them remind you of the transformative potential of each breath you take.


Now we explored deep breathing exercises for stress relief and how we can make them part of our daily life. You will see how breathing exercises could change your life and make the stress you are experiencing more manageable.

In my opinion, breathing is the same as being alive, and the question is why we should not use breathing as a stress relief tool. We should use it. It is easy and simple to use and implement these methods in your daily life especially when you feel stress coming your way.

Did you ever use deep breathing exercises for stress relief? What do you think about it? And what do you think about this article? Do you have any advice or suggestions? Please let us know your thoughts and write in the comment section below.

Meditation in the Clouds

If you want to learn more about meditation, CLICK HERE to find out more.

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Thank you! Have a nice day! Until later

Linda Mo

Founder and owner of How To Reduce Stress Naturally

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