Below are some simple breathwork techniques that you can start using today. In times of acute stress or anxiety, these breathing tools can provide immediate relief.

Box Breathing or Tactical Breathing

This technique gets its name from a box having 4 sides. It can help to visualize going around the sides of a square as you do the following:

  1. Breathe in for a count of 4
  2. Hold for a count of 4
  3. Exhale for a count of 4
  4. Hold for a count of 4

Breathe around the box at least 4 times.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This technique allows you to take slow, focused breaths and like all breathwork, calms your nervous system quickly.

  1. Cover one nostril with a finger and inhale slowly and deeply. Exhale slowly from that same nostril.
  2. Cover the other nostril and inhale slowly and deeply. Exhale slowly from that same nostril.
  3. Continue alternating nostrils for at least 2 rounds.

Science shows the most benefit from doing this for 10 minutes, but any length of time will have a positive impact.

Pursed-lip Breathing

This type of breathing helps to make your breath slower and more intentional.

  1. Relax and with your mouth closed, inhale through your nose for two seconds.
  2. Purse your lips and exhale through your mouth for four seconds. Extending your exhale longer than your inhale is key in this technique.
  3. Keep your exhale slow and steady.
  4. Repeat as needed, up to 5 times a day.