3 Simple Breathing Exercises to Re-Balance During a Busy Day

Meetings, deadlines, errands – they can all leave us feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from our inner calm. But fear not, because there's a powerful tool right at your fingertips that can help you re-center and regain control: your breath. Incorporating just a few minutes of mindful breathing into your day can make a world of difference. Here are three simple yet effective breathing exercises to help you re-balance during even the most hectic moments.

1. Box Breathing: Finding Equilibrium
Box breathing, also known as square breathing, is a simple technique that involves equalising the length of your inhalation, holding your breath, exhalation, and another breath-hold – all for a count of four. This symmetrical pattern not only calms your mind but also brings a sense of equilibrium to your body.
How to Practice:

  • Find a quiet space and sit comfortably with your back straight.
  • Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for another count of four.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth for four counts.
  • Pause and hold your breath for another count of four.
  • Repeat this cycle for a few minutes, gradually extending the counts if comfortable.
2. The 4-7-8 Technique: Instant Tranquility
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is renowned for its calming effects, promoting relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety levels. This technique works by slowing down your breath, leading to a decrease in your heart rate and an increase in feelings of tranquility.
How to Practice:
  • Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose, counting to four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale slowly and completely through your mouth, counting to eight.
  • This completes one cycle. Repeat this cycle for four breaths initially, gradually working your way up to eight breath cycles.
3. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Grounding and Centering
Also known as belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing involves engaging the diaphragm, the muscle located just below the lungs, to facilitate deep and calming breaths. This technique is particularly effective in reducing tension and promoting a sense of grounding.
How to Practice:
  • Find a quiet space to sit or lie down comfortably.
  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  • Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise as you fill your lungs with air. Your chest should remain relatively still.
  • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as possible while allowing your abdomen to fall.
  • Continue this breathing pattern for a few minutes, focusing on the rise and fall of your abdomen with each breath.
Incorporating these simple breathing exercises into your daily routine can be a game-changer when it comes to managing stress and maintaining balance. The best part? You can practice them virtually anywhere – at your desk, during a commute, or even while waiting in line.
Taking a few moments to tune into your breath can make a world of difference in how you navigate the challenges of a busy day.