As most of us know all too well, life can get very overwhelming with family, kids, work, a global pandemic, and everything in between. When things hit that critical point, how can you cope in the moment and balance yourself? How can you find that balance before things get to that critical point? The answer for a lot of people is quite simple.. Breathing Exercises!
In this post, we’ll go over the benefits of breathing exercises for managing day-to-day stress and anxiety.
The Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises
What if I told you that as humans, we generally don’t breathe the way our bodies want us to? You likely don’t think much or at all about your breathing throughout the day. After all, the bodily system that makes us breathe works mostly unconsciously. But, we can make a few tweaks to get the most of our breathing— known as breathwork.
When we are tense, our bodies respond by breathing more quickly, and our heart rates increase and muscles tense up. As you likely know, chronic stress is a big problem today. Deep breathing exercises are one simple way to start reducing this stress. But, how?
Breathing exercises help the mind and body relax because breathing calmly is what our bodies naturally do when they are relaxed. So, if we can trick our bodies into thinking we are relaxed, they will help us get there. Focusing on breath work can also help clear our minds and get us to focus on something other than our worries and thoughts.
Simple Breathing Exercises
Now let’s go over some easy breathing exercises you can do even while parenting. What’s more, your kids and family can get involved too.
Belly breathing is a simple breathing exercise the whole family can use when they are feeling anxious. This is a great technique to teach the kids at bedtime too. Here’s what to do:
- Sit comfortably
- Put your hand on your abdomen
- Inhale and pay attention to your hand moving on your belly and expanding your breath
- Exhale slowly and pay attention to your hand moving back inward with your exhale
- Continue this breathing pattern as long as you need until you feel calm
Roll breathing is a bit more complicated, so it’s best for adults and older kids once they master the belly breathing exercise.
- Lie down or sit in a comfortable position and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- Inhale through your nose and imagine the air is filling your stomach and then your chest. Use your hands to guide you.
- Exhale through your mouth and first empty your chest. Then empty your belly.
- Repeat this ten times.
As you can likely guess from the name, stretch breathing combines stretching and intentional breathing.
- While standing, reach your arms over your head and inhale
- As you exhale, fold your body forward, dropping your arms so they touch the floor
- Roll up very slowly to avoid any dizziness. Breathe slowly and intentionally.
- Repeat the exercise ten times
This exercise mimics the body in a deep sleep, and for that reason is a great exercise to use when you’re having difficulty falling asleep.
- Breathe in quietly through your nose for four seconds
- Hold for seven seconds
- Purse your lips and forcefully release the breath for eight seconds— make a whoosh sound while doing so.
- Repeat no more than four times
As busy parents, it can seem impossible to take some time for ourselves and de-stress. The best part about deep breathing exercises is you can do them anytime, anywhere— and you can even get your little ones involved.
Senior Author & Chief Editor
Based in Tempe, AZ
I started writing in college and am thankful to have turned it into a growing career. I love to create and share content that hits home for me, and hopefully helps others at home. I’m the proud mom of 2 beautiful boys, and a gorgeous baby girl.
Let's Stay In Touch!
Subscribe to the Household Healthy weekly newsletter for exclusive access to incredible Recipes (including plant-based!), Meal Plans, Coupons, and SO much more.