Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief – Breath vs Breathe

Breath vs Breathe

Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief – Breath vs Breathe

Breath vs Breathe – Have you have noticed how your body reacts or behaves when you are stressed and relax. These two are the exact opposites of each other, and your body reacts differently in both situations. One of the major differences in these situations is your breathing pattern.

When you feel relax, you breathe gently or calmly, but your breath may be “stuck,” or you may experience fast breathing when you are tensed or stressed. But do you know, if you can regulate your breathing patterns during stress, it works as a stress reliever? Breathing exercises have proved to be one of the best relaxation techniques and reduce stress.


How Does Deep Breathing Reduce Stress?

Well, discussing biology can be a little hectic for many of us, so we will keep it simple.

Alright, your brain gets a message to relax or calm down when you breathe deeply. Your brain then sends this message back to your body, thus helping in reducing stress. Breathing techniques for stress relief are helpful in reducing the heartbeat rate or high blood pressure (which is normal in stressed conditions).

Now, you might have noticed, we have used the word breath and breathe again and again. To be honest, a lot of people often get stuck between these two terms. So before we move on, let’s clear our doubts. Shall we?


Breath vs Breathe

People often use these terms interchangeably, which is not right. Breath and breathing are relatively different Breath vs Breathe.

Breath is a noun, and it simply means the exchange of gases (air). Or we can say it is a process of breathing or the ability to breathe. Breath vs Breathe.

Breathe is a verb, and it is a process in which we bring air into our lungs, extract oxygen from it, and then expel or release carbon dioxide into the environment.

Alright, let’s move to our main agenda, which is; breathing exercises for stress relief. Here are some very effective breathing techniques for stress relief. Breath vs Breathe.


5 Best Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief

We are going to enlist some of the best breathing techniques for stress relief, but here are some important tips before we switch to the processes.

  • Choose a comfortable place for breathing exercises. You can do it on your bed, living room, in the open air, or anywhere you feel comfortable.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Do not force things! If you force breathing exercises, you will make matters worse.
  • Set a routine. i.e., choose a specific time to do these exercises daily.  

Right, let’s move forward. Here is the first one!

#1 Belly Breathing

Belly breathing is probably more suitable for beginners. Although it is relatively easy to do, it is equally effective as well, and you can do it any time to relieve stress.


  1. Lie flat or sit in a comfortable way.
  2. Place your one hand on your chest and the other one on your belly (just below your ribs).
  3. Use your nose to take a deep breath and allow your belly to inflate (don’t press your hand to suppress it). Also, make sure your chest is not moving.
  4. Now, exhale through pursed lips (lips position during whistling). This time you can press your hand on your belly to push all the air out.
  5. Repeat these steps at least 3-4 times but don’t forget to take your time after each breath.


#2 “4-7-8 Breathing”

Basically, this is an advanced form of belly breathing and is comparatively tough. Here is how it goes!


  1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable way.
  2. Place your one hand on your chest and the other one on your belly (just below your ribs).
  3. Take a slow but deep breath using your belly. While you inhale, silently count to 4.
  4. Then, exhale or breathe out completely (count from 1 to 8 while exhaling). The idea is to expel all the air out of your lungs.
  5. You can repeat this process 4 to 7 times.


#3 Roll Breathing

Alright, this one is pretty challenging because it gradually helps you in maximizing the use of your lungs. If you are switching to this technique, we would suggest you do it lying on your back with bent knees.


  1. Put your right hand on your chest and the left one on your belly.
  2. Take a deep breath and fill your lungs with air. It is important that your right hand should not move. Moreover, use your nose to breathe in and mouth to breathe out.
  3. Empty your lungs by breathing out. Repeat this process 8-10 times.
  4. Now breathe in again and fill your lungs. But, this time, you have to continue inhaling into your upper chest. Just breathe slowly but regularly.
  5. Use your mouth to exhale slowly and make a quiet, whooshing sound. This time you will feel more relaxed.
  6. Practice this technique for 3 to 5 minutes.

Warning: Roll breathing is a tough exercise, and some people may start feeling dizzy. If you feel lightheaded or breathe too fast, then we recommend you slow your breathing and get up slowly.


#4 Modified Lion’s Breath

Lions breathe differently; they open their mouth wide when they breathe out. You have to do the same.


  1. Sit on a chair or floor in a comfortable position.
  2. Fill your belly completely while inhaling through the nose.
  3. When your lungs are completely filled with air, breathe out by opening your mouth wide (as much as you can) and make a “HA” sound.
  4. Repeat this process 3 to 7 times.


#5 Deep Breathing


Deep Breathing - Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief - breathing exercises - breathing techniques

Deep breathing is more like whole body breathing because you take bigger breaths. Moreover, in this technique, you inhale and exhale through your nose. Here is how you do it.


  1. Get yourself in a comfortable position. If you want to lie down, then place a pillow under your knees and head. If you want to do it on a chair, then sit in such a way that your neck, shoulders, and head are supported by the chair.
  2. Put your one hand on your chest and the other one on your belly.
  3. Fill your belly completely by breathing through your nose.
  4. Then, exhale through your nose.
  5. Repeat this process at least three times and see the tension releasing.

Important: At the start, you will find it difficult to execute these exercises properly. However, make sure you practice them regularly and correctly because if you do them wrong, you will only worsen the problem.


The Takeaway

Breathing exercises are one of the best relaxation techniques which you can do anywhere at any time. These techniques can be very effective in stress relief, but it is very important that you do them in the right way. Doing them improperly will make matters worse, so make sure you know what you are doing.


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