Even in the middle of a busy workday, it is possible to do these exercises in just a few minutes



Published: Wed 2 Aug 2023, 2:27 PM

If you are looking for a way to improve your physical and mental health, breathing exercises are a great option. They can help you to calm your mind, relax your body, and reduce stress. Even better, you can do them from the comfort of your office chair. Taking a few minutes to focus on your breath can help promote calmness, clarity, and relaxation.

Here are 5 simple breathing exercises that you can practise from anywhere.

1. Belly breathing

Sit comfortably in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting on your lap. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing your belly to expand fully. Slowly exhale through your mouth, feeling your belly gently contract. Repeat this belly breathing for five cycles, inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of six. Belly breathing helps reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation and focus.

2. Box breathing

Remain seated with your back straight and your hands resting on your thighs. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, allowing your lungs to fill completely. Hold your breath for a count of four, and then exhale slowly for a count of four. After exhaling, pause for another count of four before beginning the next breath cycle. Continue this box breathing exercise for five rounds. Box breathing helps regulate your nervous system and fosters a sense of balance and tranquility.

3. Alternate nostril breathing

Sit upright with your spine straight and your left hand resting comfortably on your lap. Lift your right hand, and with your right thumb, close off your right nostril. Inhale deeply through your left nostril. Close your left nostril with your right ring finger, release your right nostril, and exhale through the right nostril. Inhale deeply through the right nostril, close it off, release the left nostril, and exhale through the left nostril. This completes one round. Continue alternating nostrils for five rounds. Alternate nostril breathing balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain, promoting mental clarity and relaxation.

4. Deep breathing

This is a basic but effective breathing exercise that can help to calm the mind and body. To do deep breathing, simply sit up straight and breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for five minutes.

5. 4-7-8 breathing

Sit comfortably in your chair and place your tongue against the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth to a count of eight, making a whooshing sound. This completes one breath cycle. Repeat this 4-7-8 breathing exercise for five cycles. This technique is excellent for reducing stress and promoting a peaceful state of mind.

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