We all need to breathe and do so on a reassuringly regular basis. Which always makes people question the need to do exercises or learn techniques.
The reason why I recommend practicing different breathing techniques is for the times when you actually need it. Stressed out? About to lose your temper in a totally out of the stratosphere way? Scared? Upset? People will tend to breath in jagged, sharp and high up breaths which heighten the senses. By being able to use the breath to calm down, focus and get back into control, helps alleviates the stress on the body and the feeling of being in a 'state'.
Now when you are in the 'state' it isn't the easiest place to think, oh I'll just breathe and everything will be ok. Think of a child who is crying and they've become hiccupy and shuddering trying to get their breathe when they've been crying. We help them to calm down by soothing them, rubbing their shoulders, stroking their hair and helping them to regain their breath. We don't always have someone there to help us so we must learn our own self soothers. The more you practice the quicker it is to use and the more your brain will recognise that it takes you to a safe place and it will recall it for you to use.
There are many, many out there to try. These are the ones I use and therefore can recommend the benefits but you may wish to try different ones and I would highly recommend you do.
1.Pause in the stillness ( my name for it)
This one is my favourite so its a good place to start.
Find a comfortable position. This can be sitting on a sofa, chair, in a yoga pose.
(I prefer sitting as you are less likely to fall asleep but once you have mastered it use it however you choose.)
Regulate your breathing and close your eyes.
Inhale (though your nose) to the count of four, pause.
Exhale (through the mouth) to the count of six, pause.
As you find yourself in the pause be aware. Find moments of peace in the pause. Stillness.
Try this for a few breaths and then go back to normal breathing.
2. Breathing technique 4-7-8
Find a comfortable position.
Empty your lungs of air.
Inhale gently through your nose for 4 seconds.
Hold your breath for 7 seconds
exhale through your mouth making a whooshing sound for 8 seconds
Repeat 3 times and return to normal breathing.
3. 5 count breathing.
As above, find a comfortable position. Regulate your breathing. The aim of this is to inhale and exhale the same amount on the same count. I inhale/exhale through the nose on this.
Inhale for a count of 5
exhale for a count of 5
keep maintaining this for a few minutes.
4. Lions breath.
this is a yoga breathing technique. Which has all sorts of benefits but I feel is really useful if you wish to release some anger/ rage / unused words.
Breathe in and as you exhale open your mouth, stick out your tongue and roll the eyes upwards.
You can use this both to roar with or more of a forceful exhalation without noise just releasing the fire/ anger within you.
I like it. Tho word of caution to really enjoy this I'd recommend doing it on your own and with the door closed if you live with other people.
I hope that you might find one that really works for you, or all of them at different times for different needs.