Want to enjoy a natural energy boost? Try breathing exercises. No, we’re not talking weird New Age meditation. You may not even realize how shallow your breathing is. Or maybe when you feel overwhelmed, you take that deep “vertical” breath and loudly exhale – only to feel the same.
Let’s practice better breathing to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and renew energy! For the best results, you’ll want to try these de-stressing techniques out multiple times a day.
4 Breathing Exercises for A Natural Energy Boost
Belly Breathing (or Diaphragmic Breathing)
Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent. Breathe in your nose, filling your belly with air. Place one hand on your belly to pay attention to the rise and fall of your belly. Place your other hand on your chest, with the goal of keeping this area still. Exhale twice as slowly as you inhale. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed as your diaphragm fills and empties your lungs.
This breathing exercise is recommended by the American Lung Association because it helps your lungs be more efficient and results in higher oxygen levels and more energy for exercise and activity.
Deep Breathing helps you breathe in more fresh air, which promotes relaxation. Most people take short, shallow breaths, which leads to feelings of anxiety and exhaustion. This technique relieves shortness of breath by stopping air from getting trapped in your lungs. While sitting or standing, take a deep inhalation through your nose, allowing your chest to expand. Hold your breath for five seconds. Then, slowly exhale through your nose.
Equal Time Breathing In and Breathing Out
With this exercise, you’ll match how long you inhale with how long you exhale. Over time, you’ll increase how long you’re able to breathe in and breathe out at a time. Sit comfortably in a chair. Breathe in through your nose, counting to five as you do it. Then, breathe out through your nose for a count of five.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This breathing practice helps you relax both physically and mentally. As you breathe in, tense any muscle group; as you breathe out, relax and release that muscle group. For example, lie down and tighten the muscles of your feet as you inhale; release the tension in your feet as you exhale. You can work your way up your body. Try this strategy at night in bed if you have trouble falling asleep.
A great way to make these breathing exercises a habit is to print the downloadable resource below and place it where you're likely to see it and be reminded to practice these simple exercises for natural energy boosts throughout your day.
And check out this article for even more natural energy boosting ideas.