• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Mindful Breathing Exercises for Stress

Learning to follow the breath is one of the most basic mindfulness exercises for stress, and for good reason: Mindful breathing has the power to reduce stress on a physical level, and can actually retrain the stress response in the nervous system. Practicing mindful breathing allows you to activate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which is the branch of your nervous system that “puts the brakes” on the fight-or-flight stress response. The breathing exercises below can be used as part of a daily mindfulness practice, or can be used on their own as a way to calm down during times of high stress.

Nadi Shodhana, also called “alternate nostril breathing,” is a yogic practice that can help to quickly calm the mind. To do this simple exercise, place your thumb over your right nostril and inhale through your open left nostril. Before you exhale, open your right nostril and close your left nostril with your third and ring fingers. Exhale through your right nostril, then inhale through your right nostril. Continue this exercise by closing your right nostril and inhaling then exhaling through your left nostril.

Tactical Breathing is a strategy that soldiers are often taught to use in combat as a way of maintaining mental control in stressful situations. However, you don’t have to be in the military to apply this effective strategy to your own life. Simply focus on breathing in through your nose for four counts and then holding the breath for four counts. Breathe out of your mouth for four counts, and then again hold the breath for four counts.

Ujjayi Breath, or “victorious breathing,” is another yogic breathing practice that can help to reduce stress and increase relaxation. The practice is fun, too! Inhale deeply through your nose. As you exhale, allow yourself to make a rushing noise with your breath. The breath should feel unforced and not grating.

These breathing sessions can last for as long as you feel comfortable. You may like to start out slowly and gradually build up the length of time that you spend focusing on mindful breathing. Check out the rest of our website for many other ways to reduce stress through mindfulness practices, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

330 Mindfulness Worksheets

Step-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation and more!

50% OFF

  • Safely download them all to your own computer
  • Nicely designed PDF's with writable fields to add your reflections, answers and journal entries
  • Expertly designed for both beginners and advanced mindfulness practitioners
  • Organized into separate folders, based on health, relationships, career, self-discovery, purpose, formal meditation, and more
  • Evidence-based practices for increasing a sense of peace, calm, clarity, care and confidence
  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
200+ GUIDED Meditation Scripts

Discover the world's most popular mindfulness meditation scripts that make a positive impact on people's well-being.

50% OFF

  • Safely download them all to your own computer
  • Elegantly formatted for you to read easily and confidently at your own pace
  • Learn how to do many new mindfulness meditations , while deepening your experiential understanding of the one's you're practiced
  • Evidence-based meditations for cultivating calm, self-compassion, embodied presence and resilience
  • Guide these meditations for others to make a positive impact on the qualify of their day-to-day lives
  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
Teach Mindfulness with Confidence

You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Try Our Free 100-Day Mindfulness Challenge

Free Mindfulness Exercises Delivered Each Day

Receive daily mindfulness meditations, worksheets and infographics to help you start each day mindful.