In this blog post, we will explore calming breathing exercises for stress, recommended by the National Health Service (NHS), that only takes a few minutes and can be practiced anywhere.

In today’s fast-paced world, stress, anxiety, and panic have become common afflictions for many individuals.  The good news is that there are simple techniques you can incorporate into your daily routine to promote relaxation and tranquillity.  Among these techniques, breathing exercises have proven to be highly effective in combating stress and restoring a sense of calm.  So, let’s dive in and discover the power of mindful breathing.

Preparing for the Exercise

Before we delve into the breathing exercise itself, it’s important to set the stage for relaxation.  Find a quiet spot where you can comfortably sit, stand, or lie down.  If you choose to sit, ensure that you have a chair with proper back support, while those opting for lying down can use a bed or yoga mat.  Loosen any restrictive clothing to allow for unrestricted breathing and create an environment conducive to tranquillity.

The Technique:  A Calming Breath

  1. Find your comfortable position and allow yourself to settle in. If you’re lying down, place your arms a little away from your sides with palms facing upward.  For those sitting, let you arms rest on the chair arms.  Regardless of your chosen position, ensure your feet are planted firmly on the ground, approximately hip-width apart (obviously not applicable if you are lying down).
  2. Begin by focusing on your breath. Allow it to flow naturally, without any forceful effort.  Instead, guide your breath to travel deep into your belly, feeling the expansion and contraction with each inhale and exhale.
  3. Experiment with breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. This technique can enhance the sense of calm and relaxation.  Find what feels most comfortable for you and adapt accordingly.
  4. Take gentle and regular breaths. Some individuals find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5 while inhaling.  However, it’s essential to listen to your body and not strain yourself.  Start with a count that feels manageable and gradually work your way up, if possible.
  5. Once you have completed your inhalation, continue the rhythm of your breath without any pauses or breath holds. If counted helped you during inhalation, maintain the counting as you exhale.  The goal is to create a smooth and continuous flow of breath throughout the exercise.
  6. Dedicate to 5 minutes of your time to this exercise.  Within this short span, you can experience a significant reduction in stress and anxiety levels.

The Power of Consistency

While this breathing exercise can be incredibly effective even when practiced sporadically, incorporating it into your daily routine can yield long-term benefits for your mental well-being.  Consistency is key to unlocking the full potential of this technique.  By setting aside a few minutes each day, you can nurture a sense of inner peace and equip yourself with a powerful tool to combat stress whenever it arises.


Stress, anxiety, and panic are common challenges in today’s hectic world, but they need not overpower us.  With simple and accessible techniques like mindful breathing exercises, we can regain control and restore a sense of calm in our lives.  The breathing exercise provided by the NHS offers a practical and effective solution for combating stress.  By dedicating just a few minutes each day to this practice, you can foster a state of tranquillity develop a valuable coping mechanism for life’s challenges.  So, take a deep breath, and let the power of mindful breathing guide you to serenity, wherever you may be.

source: Breathing exercises for stress – NHS (