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Life is becoming hectic by the day, and people are finding it harder to deal with stress. However, breathing exercises, coupled with meditation, are an excellent way of dealing with stress. Breathing exercises take a short time and help in relaxing both body and mind.

So, which breathing techniques assist in achieving a stress-free life? Here are the top 5.

Abdominal Breathing

This is very vital in reducing both the heart rate and blood pressure. This technique is achieved by breathing using the diaphragm as opposed to the chest.
To begin, one needs to place one hand on the chest and the other hand on the belly. One then needs to breathe in through the nose, taking in enough air to stretch the lungs. This is followed by a slow exhale. Each breath should be deep and steady. This technique should be done for about ten minutes, with about 10 breaths per minute.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This technique is also known as Nadi Shodhana. It is meant to bring union between both sides of the brain. The result of this is calm and balance.
To begin, one has to sit comfortably in a meditative pose. One should then hold down the right nostril using the right hand and breathe in using the left nostril deeply. At the peak of inhalation, one should let go of the right nostril and proceed to hold down the left nostril. Exhalation should then be done through the right nostril. This technique should be practised whenever one needs calmness.

Relaxing Breath

This technique is also known as 4-7-8. It is mainly used to bring relaxation to the body and the nervous system. It is a good breathing technique to use right before bed.
To start, one has to touch the intersection between the upper teeth and gum ridge using the tip of the tongue. The tongue remains in this position throughout the technique. The next step involves full exhalation. One should then inhale, counting to four.
This is followed by holding one’s breath and counting to 7, then full exhalation and a count to 8. This is what is called one full breath. This technique is fully achieved by taking about five full breaths.

Stillness in Breath

This is mainly a technique for those capable of focusing on their breath for an extended period of time. It involves sitting comfortably, closing one’s eyes and proceeding to observe one’s breathing pattern.
Upon settling on the breathing rhythm, one is able to determine the point at which inhalation and exhalation interchange. This is characterized by a small pause. In case concentration is lost, one should concentrate on the small pause. This technique requires practice to master.

Stimulating Breath

This technique is referred to as bellows breathe by other people. It is designed to sharpen one’s mind and invigorate their senses.
To begin, one has to sit comfortably and inhale and exhale rapidly. The mouth should remain shut and one should try to be relaxed.

The inhales and exhales should take the same duration. Beginners can start with fifteen seconds of the technique and increase the time by 5 seconds each time, with a maximum duration of 1 minute.

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