Meditation breathing can help ease anxiety, reduce stress and bring you back to the present moment. Simply focusing on your breath is one of the most effective ways to manage stress. Best of all, it’s free and can be done anywhere. So lets go over how to do meditation breathing techniques!
How To Do Meditation Breathing Techniques
Before we get into the practice of breathing techniques, it’s crucial to prepare.
- Find a quiet and comfortable place for your practice. Ideally, you should be sitting upright, but if it’s more comfortable, you can lay down.
- Ditch the distractions. Put your phone on silent and leave it in another room.
Make sure that you give yourself some time to truly practice. It can be just five or ten minute
s, but make sure that it’s penciled into your schedule. This way, you’ll be less inclined to be distracted by others in your home or chores around the house.
Once you’re in a comfortable, quiet place, you can start practicing the following meditation breathing techniques.
Also known as deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing is when you breathe from your abdomen. Deep breathing can help lower your heart rate, slow the sympathetic nervous system, lower your blood pressure, and ultimately, reduce anxiety.
Practicing deep breathing regularly can help quiet your mind, and it can be practiced whenever, wherever you please.
- Start with a deep inhale through the nose for a count of four. Feel your belly expand as you breathe in.
- Exhale slowly through the mouth.
- Repeat. Continue breathing for 3-5 minutes, or however long you can comfortably continue.
Bellows breath, sometimes called the breath of fire, is a breathing technique that uses forceful, quick bursts of inhales and exhales. These quick, deep breaths increase oxygen levels in the body and can even help improve your focus.
Because of its energizing effects, bellows breath shouldn’t be practiced before bed. This is one breathing technique that can only be performed when sitting or standing (sitting is best).
- Sit up with a tall spine.
- Begin breathing vigorously in and out of your nose while contracting your abdominal muscles. Your belly should be quickly rising and falling with each breath.
Bellows breath is a bit challenging, so it’s helpful to learn from an instructor. Here’s a great video that explains how to perform this technique.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing can help ease anxiety while also improving lung function. In addition, this meditative practice will help keep you in the present moment, easing your anxiety and stress in the process.
Here’s how it works:
- Start by sitting somewhere comfortable. Sit up tall with a long spine.
- Take the thumb of your left hand and press it against your left nostril. Inhale through your right nostril.
- Pause at the top of the inhale, and release the thumb.
- Before exhaling, use the ring finger on your left hand to press against the right nostril.
- Breathe out through your left nostril.
- Repeat, and switch nostrils with each breath.
Alternate nostril breathing can take some practice to master. Be gentle with yourself, and don’t give up on your practice. Consistency is the key to success with any meditation breathing technique.
Box breathing is similar to the deep breathing exercise we talked about earlier. However, this technique takes a more focused approach to the breath.
Here’s how it works:
- While sitting up tall, start by breathing in slowly and deeply through the abdomen for a count of four.
- Pause at the top of the inhale for a count of four.
- Exhale slowly for a count of four.
Slowing down your breathing can help you feel calmer and more relaxed. The great thing about this practice is that you can do it anywhere. If you’re out and feeling anxious, you can pause for a moment to practice this deep breathing technique.
If you’re dealing with stress and anxiety, these meditation breathing techniques can help ease your nerves and bring you into the present moment. They’re easy to do, and won’t cost you a thing to perform. Just make sure that you’re in a quiet place that’s free of distractions.
If you can’t find somewhere quiet, you can listen to calming music through earbuds to drown out the noise around you. Try doing these practices regularly to keep stress and anxiety at bay.
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