Breathing exercises: You should know these exercises
Take a deep breath first: With breathing exercises you can increase your well-being and your health. We show you five simple exercises to breathe properly.
Why is breathing exercise necessary?
Breathing is vital. The body is supplied with fresh oxygen and carbon dioxide is exhaled from the body. But not only that, your breath also changes depending on your mood. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to breathe quickly and shallowly. When you calm down, your breathing slows down again. But if you often breathe shallowly, you put a strain on your body. Breathing deeply and properly is therefore useful against stress and promotes health and well-being.
If you consciously concentrate on your breath, you also breathe deeper and into your stomach. With various breathing exercises you can calm the body and relax . You don’t need a lot of time for the following exercises and you can always integrate them into everyday life – when you’re stressed, in the office, before you fall asleep or in exciting situations.
Breathe properly through natural abdominal breathing
Our natural abdominal breathing flows deep into the abdomen. Many people subconsciously do not breathe deeply enough. For example, if you wear tight clothing or often pull in your stomach, shallow breathing quickly becomes a habit and you breathe into your chest instead of your stomach. Constant, shallow breathing can damage cell metabolism and the ability to concentrate. It helps to consciously practice natural breathing every now and then.
How to breathe correctly:
- Put a hand on your stomach.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose.
- Consciously feel your stomach expand as you inhale and feel your hand lift the abdominal wall.
- When exhaling, the hand on the abdominal wall lowers and the abdomen contracts again.
In this way you can always check whether you are breathing correctly: put your hand on your stomach and feel your breathing and your stomach area. Conscious breathing also helps you to strengthen your own mindfulness .
Breathing exercise against stress: The 4-6-8 method
The more stressed you are, the faster you breathe. You can reduce stress by breathing consciously . This breathing exercise is an extension of abdominal breathing. Sit or lie down in a relaxed position and place your hand on your stomach.
This is how you proceed:
- Inhale through your nose and slowly count to four .
- Hold your breath and count to six .
- Exhale while slowly counting to eight .
You can repeat this exercise five times. Your breath becomes calm and deep. When you breathe more slowly, blood pressure is lowered and your body switches to recovery. Various relaxation exercises also help to reduce stress .
Breathing exercise to calm down: Exhale sharply
When you are scared and tense, your breathing slows down. Less oxygen gets into your body and muscle tension increases: you feel physical restlessness. So if you feel tense, energized or nervous , you can consciously use your breathing to calm down.
This breathing technique can help you:
- Sit down and put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
- Take a deep breath and count to five.
- Then exhale through your mouth five times in quick succession.
You can do this exercise five times in a row and repeat it over and over again. With this breathing technique you breathe away your restlessness, but also anger or annoyance.
Pump up the lungs: breathing exercise to reduce tension
When you’re worried or faced with a challenge, your body begins to breathe shallowly. Then use your breath to calm down and to reduce tension and nervousness.
And this is how you do it:
- Inhale while counting to two.
- Hold your breath and count to two again.
- Keep breathing in while counting to two.
- Hold your breath again and count to two.
- Repeat this until you can’t breathe anymore.
- Then exhale in a slow, long breath.
- Breathe normally for a few breaths.
You can repeat this exercise two more times. Deep, calm breathing builds inner calm and better control of your emotions.