Everyone deals with stress and breathwork exercises for beginners is a great way to introduce this very effective tool to help you feel better. Several stress-relieving exercises are beneficial to mental health. For example, you can try meditation, yoga, art therapy, or breathwork.
Breathwork however, is a technique that has been gaining momentum in the world of mental health. It tricks the body into thinking it’s in a relaxed state. It minimizes stress and promotes a sense of calm.
Anyone can use breathwork to deal with stress, but there are specific techniques that must be followed. This article will recommend breathwork exercises for beginners so you can get started on your journey.
How Does Breathwork Work?
Before getting to the exercises, let’s talk about breathwork and why it is so effective.
When you encounter a stressful situation, your breathing speeds up, coming in short, rapid breaths. Breathwork slows down your breathing. It helps the body to think it’s in a more relaxed state. Your brain follows accordingly.
Breathwork is beneficial in the following ways:
- It interferes with the acute stress response promoting a sense of calm.
- It lowers the risk of chronic stress.
- It reduces blood pressure.
- It may help treat addiction and serious mental health conditions.
- It often reduces heart rate.
- It often increases heart rate variability to boost stress resiliency.
- It can be done anywhere and most anytime.
What are Some Good Breathwork Exercises for Beginners?
Here are some exercises that are recommended for people starting with breathwork techniques.
Box Breathing or the “4-4-4-4 Breath”
- Release the air from your chest.
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
- Release the air from your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
- Exhale out of your nose for 4 seconds.
- Continue for 5 minutes for optimal results.
This is perhaps the most popular breath technique on the planet. To feel the full effects of the 4-4-4-4 exercise, think of the earth elements of the north as you release air from your chest. Imagine the east wind swirling through your mind and getting rid of unwanted thoughts while holding your breath. While exhaling, visualize the fire element of the south rising from the center of your body and burning out negative thoughts and feelings. As you hold your breath, ask the water element of the west for guidance.
Also known as box breathing, the 4-4-4-4 is a common practice for Navy SEALs. It is effective in helping military members deal with stressful situations.
The 4-7-8 Breath
- Empty the lungs of air.
- Breath in through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Exhale for 8 seconds.
- Repeat 4 times.
The exercise will be most effective if you focus on soothing nature images like trees, plants, and flowers as you breathe in. When holding your breath, visualize it moving through the center of your body and eliminating negative energy. As you exhale, imagine light flowing from the top to the bottom of your body into the ground below you.
The 4-7-8 is ideal for bringing a sense of calm to the body. It slows the nervous system and teaches you to take in fewer external stimuli. It reduces stress when you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or angry.
The 5-5 Breath
- Focus on your breath’s natural rhythm to get a baseline for your inhale-exhale patterns.
- Breath in for 4 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds- continue for one minute.
- Gradually increase the pattern of inhaling and exhaling to 5 seconds, 6 seconds, and so on, working your way to 10 seconds.
- Continue for 5 minutes, working your way to 20 minutes.
For best results, focus on what you are struggling with. Then visualize the negativity leaving your body as you exhale. The 5-5 breath exercise slows down breathing to produce a sense of calm. It should be practiced throughout the day to reduce feelings of anxiety.
The Hanu Health Platform Can Help You Reach Your Stress-Reducing Goals
A high heart rate variability is beneficial as it helps you adjust to stressful situations. It boosts stress resiliency, so you are better equipped to handle stressors.
HRV can also be improved through the Hanu Health platform.
The Hanu Health platform measures how you react to stressful situations through biomarkers like respiration rate, stress resiliency, heart rate, and HRV. It allows you to identify situations that are causing you stress. It suggests therapeutic exercises that improve mental health.
Stress can lead to serious mental and physical issues. A combination of breathwork and the Hanu Health app will help you control stress so you are better able to handle what life throws at you. If you ever want or need help with anxiety or depression, considering using one of our very licensed Hanu Therapists to help.