self esteem

Breathe Easier – less stress!

Want to feel less stress and be calmer?   Making small changes to your breathing can provide multiple health benefits and reduced stress.  Read on to find out how the simple act of breathing can be hugely beneficial.

Next time you walk out of your front door, stop for a moment and inhale a slow, deep breath of fresh spring air.  Notice how it energises your body and clears your mind and I’m sure you feel a little less stress as you being your day – right?

For something that you do each day at an unconscious level without thinking, often up to 30,000 times, breathing can have a powerful effect on your wellbeing and stress levels.   So, by slowing your breathing you will start to notice significant physical and mental benefits. 

Read on to discover how easy it is to slow your breathing down to a calmer, healthy rate so you’re doing it naturally in everyday life – and feeling the many benefits it brings. 

Alternatively if you like the idea of listening to someone guide you through some breathing exercises then look here.   This will take you through to Hypnosis Downloads where you can download an audio to listen to which can help you practice deep breathing.

Breathe to feel calmer and reduce stress

Specific breathing techniques are well known for their ability to create calm.  This doesn’t just apply to states of full-blown anxiety, but also to minor everyday stresses, when it’s easy to allow your breathing to become faster if you’re caught up in lots of activity or juggling tasks.   The increase in breath is due to your fight or flight system kicking in.  It’s activated when your body thinks it needs to be alert to something, so it releases a series of hormones in case you need a burst of energy.   

Breathing slowly and deeply through your nose activates your diaphragm and your “rest and digest” system, which helps to lower your sense of stress, reduce blood pressure and lift your mood.

Try this simple, four minute Buteyko exercise, which takes its name from Ukrainian doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko




Place one hand on your chest and the other just above your navel to help you follow your breathing. 


Apply gentle pressure with your hands to slightly reduce your breathing against your hands.


Encourage the depth of each breath to reduce.


Take in smaller or shorter breath than you would like.


Allow a relaxed breath out, exhaling gently and slowly. 


Bring a feeling of relaxation to your breathing.


 Do not tense your body, hold your breath or pause your breathing.

Breathe to energise

Just as you can use your breath to calm you down, you can use it to fire up your body.  In yogic practice, your right nostril channels your body’s heating energy, associated with the sun, and your left is for cooling energy, associated with the moon.  When these energies are out of balance, it makes you feel sluggish.   

Try this breathing exercise to help bring your body and mind into balance.


Sit in a comfortable seated position and press your left hand into a fist, with your index and middle fingers firmly into the base of your thumb sticking out.


Stretch out the ring and little finger.  Keep your little finger relatively straight, but curl your ring finger slightly.


Block your left nostril with your thumb and inhale through your right.


Close the right nostril with your ring and little finger and hold the breath for as long as is comfortable.


Release your thumb and exhale slowly through your left nostril, then block it again with your thumb and repeat, inhaling right, exhaling left, for one to three minutes.

Breathe to gain clarity

Have you ever wondered why your head feels so much clearer after a relaxing walk?   Its because breathing calmly, allowing fresh air to optimise your oxygen and Co2 levels, means your brain receives more energy.  So try a simple Transformational Breath exercise next time you are out for a walk – all you need is a comfortable place to sit where your back is support and your chest is higher than your legs.  For this technique, you keep your mouth open, as it’s just for a short while, rather than prolonged mouth breathing.  For more information on Transformational Breathing exercises click here.


Put your hands flat on your lower abdomen, a few inches below your navel.  Inhale to make your belly rise and activate your diaphragm.


Make your exhale a short and relaxed sigh.  Keep all your focus on the inhalation, which should be about three times as long as the exhalation.


Breathe this way with no pauses in-between, and repeat for up to five minutes, noticing any physical sensations in your body.  If you feel any discomfort, or you feel as though your breath is getting blocked in a particular area, shift your position, or apply gentle pressure with the flat of your hand to see if this helps improve it.


When you’re done, rest for one minute as you return to normal, breathing through your nose.  You’ll probably feel a buzzing in your hands and a little lightheaded but very relaxed.   Transformational breathing has also been known to prompt an outpour of emotions, which is your body’s own way of detoxing pent-up emotions, so go with it.

Article has been adapted from Top Sante magazine

Further Resources That Can Help Reduce Stress

Click on the links below to access additional resources that can help with breathing exercises*

Feel stress and tension just float away!

  • Deep Breathing AudioNatural Deep Breathing is a powerful hypnosis session that will quickly get you back to breathing the way you were born to breathe – fully and deeply.
  • Relax Deeply with 7-11 Breathing Audio – With the 7-11 breathing exercise you will reverse this process, returning your body and mind to a calm and relaxed state astonishingly quickly. And the more you practice it by listening to this session, the quicker you will be able to relax.


*This links divert to external websites, and we earn a small commission on any sale.   These commissions can help fund Mind Calm being able to offer reduced rates for therapy or free therapy sessions for those in need. 

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