Deep Breathing for Stress Relief

Deep breathing is easy to do and can be very effective at reducing stress and anxiety. It can help you feel calmer. It can also give you a moment to separate from whatever is causing you stress or anxiety.

How to Practice Deep Breathing

Follow these simple steps:

  • If you can, find a quiet place where you can sit by yourself. 
  • Try to relax any tense muscles. Pay particular attention to your shoulders and stomach.
  • Breathe in through your nose, letting the air expand your stomach.
  • Breathe out through your mouth, feeling your stomach soften.
  • Start counting. Try to breathe in as you count to 4.
  • Hold your breath for just a moment. Count to 2.
  • Let your breath out slowly. Count to 6.

Try it throughout the day. Even just a few deep breaths can be helpful.

What If It Doesn’t Work?

Different techniques may help you more in some situations than others. It’s important to experiment and try different methods.

You can also follow along with this Mayo Clinic video. If deep breathing doesn’t work for you, give grounding a try.