7 ways to breathe

Looking for calm? Here’s 7 different ways to breathe, to ground you in the moment, bring calm to right now, and reduce tension and stress.

1. Square Breathing

Follow along the edges of a square in your mind. Starting at the top edge, breath in and count to 4. Go along the side edge and hold for 4. Exhale for 4 counts as you go along the bottom edge, then hold for 4 along the other edge until you’re back at the beginning of the square.

2. Smell the roses, blow out the candles

Take a deep breath in, pretending to smell a lovely scent of roses through your nose. Then breathe out through your mouth slowly as if blowing out candles. Repeat 3 times.

3. Bubble blowing

Either pretend or with a real bubble wand, breathe out for as long and steady as you can and create a giant stream of bubbles.

4. Mindful Breathing

Take one minute to be fully present in the moment. Pay attention to your breath and how it feels as it enters and exits your body. As thoughts enter your mind, allow them to pass without giving them attention and refocus on your breath.

5. Belly Breathing

Sometimes done lying down with a teddy on your belly, or sitting with your hand on your belly. Inhale deep from your belly and feel your hand rise as your belly expands. Exhale and feel your hand come back in as you take big breaths.

6. Whole Body Muscle Relaxing

Breathe in and out slowly, each time relaxing a part of your body. Start at the top with your face, your shoulders, your hands, your back, your legs, and finish with relaxing your toes.

7. Alternate Breathing

Sitting upright, use your finger to block one nostril and breathe through the other. Swap sides for alternate breathing through your nose.

ways to breathe for calm and emotional regulation

Use one of these 7 ways of breathing next time that:

  • you feel stressed because the kids are super noisy and need to find calm to deal with them
  • you feel angry and need to stop before you speak in anger
  • you feel annoyed because workmates don’t clean their dishes and need to find perspective
  • you feel tense and need to relax quickly

It’s one of the quickest ways to reduce stress in your body and ground you to the moment.

If you’re looking for other calming strategies, then check out the giant list of 63 Calming Strategies.

Download a poster of the 7 ways to breathe here and pin it up to remind you how to relax and breathe.

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