Breathing exercises can be one of the most useful resources to tap into to help decrease stress and anxiety. We already take over 20,000 breaths a day, and it’s something you can do anywhere at any time. Learning how to become conscious of and control your breathing is a truly beneficial skill to improve your physical and mental health.

In our current society much of our stress is internally perpetuated, as well as chronic, meaning that this abnormal state in our body persists, instead of returning to optimal function or homeostasis. Reduced digestion, increased blood sugar and blood pressure can lead to weight gain and increased risk of serious chronic conditions. Using breathing techniques can actually help turn off the parasympathetic nervous system and the fight or flight response, reducing respiration rate, heart rate and blood pressure and inducing a state of calm.

Morning breathing is really a combination of breath work and stretching. It’s a great technique to use first thing in the morning to help relieve stiffness and aches in the muscles as well as help clear out any cleared nasal passages. You can also used it throughout your day to add in a stretch break, add more movement in or to help relieve back pain. It’s a very simple technique that can be done at any time anywhere. As always stop both breathing pattern and movement if you feel dizzy or light headed, sit down and resume normal breathing pattern.