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6 Breathing Exercises for Stress Reduction and Relaxation

September 12th, 2021,

4 min read

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Do you sometimes experience stress or don't sleep well? Breathing exercises can help you relax your mind and body. Take a moment for a short breathing exercise and you will immediately notice the difference.

Breathing is one of the most automatic processes in our body. For most people, it is a process that is often overlooked. Yet we often breathe shallowly and quickly, which can lead to stress and tension. By breathing in a conscious way, you relax and reduce your stress.

What exactly are breathing exercises?

Breathing exercises are techniques you can use to improve your breathing and relax your body and mind. These exercises can vary from simple breathing exercises to more complex techniques that aim to improve your breathing and relax your body.

Benefits of breathing exercises

There are many benefits of doing breathing exercises. We'll discuss some of the most common benefits below.

There are several physical health benefits to breathing exercises.

  • Regular deep and calm breathing improves lung function and allows you to get more oxygen into your body.
  • Slow breathing improves blood circulation, which contributes to a healthy blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Breathing exercises can help relax muscles, leading to a relief of pain and tension.

Breathing exercises are also beneficial for your mental health.

  • Stress reduction is one of the main benefits of breathing exercises. When we are stressed, we tend to breathe quickly and shallowly, leading to an increased heart rate and an increase in stress hormones. By breathing consciously, we can reduce this reaction and allow ourselves to concentrate and relax better.
  • Breathing exercises can also contribute to improved sleep. By exercising before bed, we can calm our minds and prepare our bodies for a good night's sleep.

Types of breathing exercises

There are several types of exercises you can perform, including diaphragmatic breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, alternate nose breathing, box breathing and the progressive muscle relaxation.

  • Diaphragmatic breathing focuses on using the diaphragm. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breathe deeply through the nose and make sure your belly rises as you inhale.
  • 4-7-8 breathing is a simple technique where you inhale for four seconds, hold for seven seconds and exhale for eight seconds. This technique can help reduce stress and anxiety and promote relaxation.
  • Alternate nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhana is another technique where you alternately breathe through your left and right nostrils. Keep your right thumb on right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Then close both nostrils and hold your breath for a few seconds. Then release your right thumb and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale again through your right nostril and then exhale through your left nostril. Repeat this for several minutes.
  • Box breathing, also known as military breathing, is a technique you can use to focus and relax yourself. This involves breathing in for four seconds, holding for four seconds, breathing out for four seconds and holding for four seconds before starting again.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation is a relaxation technique in which muscles are gradually relaxed to reduce tension and stress. The process starts by tightening certain muscles and then releasing the tension, leading to a deeper state of relaxation.

If you find it difficult to exhale longer than usual, we recommend not to force anything, especially if you are doing breathing exercises to relax. It's much more relaxing if you end your exhalation naturally, even if it's a few seconds earlier.

So, breathing exercises have many benefits for your health. These exercises improve your lung function and blood circulation and relax your muscles, reduce stress and improve your sleep. That means that breathing exercises make you stronger both physically and mentally.

How to do exercises to improve your breathing?

To help you, we created moonbird, a physical, handheld breathing guide. Moonbird expands and contracts in your hand. Simply follow its rhythm with your breathing and you'll be more relaxed in just a few minutes. We also provide real-time biofeedback via the moonbird app so you can see the impact of the exercises on your body.

By combining the intuitive breathing guidance with the biofeedback, moonbird helps you to connect your mind and body and calm down, or fall asleep fast. Whenever, wherever.

Try moonbird for 30 days risk-free, with no obligation. You only pay when you decide to keep your moonbird. The most important thing for us is that moonbird really works for you.

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Test it for 30 days. Without any risk.

Calm breathing is an effective way to reduce anxiety, improve sleep and lower stress levels. It helps to get stress out of your body and calms your mind. Let moonbird guide you: easy, intuitive and effective.

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