Most of us have trouble falling or staying asleep. Our busy and fast-paced lives are loaded with long work days, stress, parenting burnout, or other emotionally exhausting situations. These can make it really difficult to relax and get some ZZZs.
Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of breathing exercises that can help you calm your mind and body.
Three-part breathing exercise
Follow these three steps to practice this method:
- Take a long, deep breath
- Exhale completely and focus intently on your body and how it feels
- Do this a couple of times and then slow down your exhale making it twice as long as your inhale.
In this method you focus on your diaphragm to breathe more easily:
- Sit straight and upright. You can even do this on your bed if you are trying to sleep.
- Take deep breaths; counting to 4 with each inhale — through your nose — and each exhale
- Focus on your abdomen rising and falling, and listen for your breathing sound.
Alternate nasal breathing exercise
This exercise is also called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. Here’s how you do it:
- Sit with your legs crossed, and place your left hand on your knee and your right thumb against your nose.
- Exhale fully and gently close your right nostril with your thumb.
- Inhale through your left nostril.
- Open your right nostril and exhale while closing your left nostril.
- Continue this rotation for 5 minutes, and finish by exhaling through your left nostril.
It is found that breathing techniques help you relax, sleep, and breathe more naturally and effectively. Try out these three methods and let us know which one worked for you!