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.

Roll Breathing is a great technique to helps you use the full capacity of your lungs and to focus on the rhythm and movement of deep breathing. We tend to breath more shallowly from our chest, especially when we are stressed instead of breathing deeply from our lower lungs and diaphragm. While you can do this technique in any position, when first learning the technique it’s best to lie on your back with your knees bent. It’s a great tool to create instant relaxation any time you need. Remember practice makes perfect!