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12 Breathing Exercises to Help You Relax in Minutes

If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take some time out of your day to do these simple breathing exercises. They’ll help you feel relaxed and refreshed.

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Counting breath

This breathing exercise helps you to clear your mind and relax in minutes. Start by sitting in a comfortable position and bring your attention to your breath. Count silently to yourself as you inhale and exhale. Joy Rains, author of Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind, suggests saying, “I am inhaling one, I am exhaling one. I am inhaling two, I am exhaling two,” as you breathe.

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Alternate nostril breathing

Many yogis say this is one of their favorite breathing exercises. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply, then hold your thumb over your left nostril and exhale. Continue this pattern ten times. “This breathing exercise is almost like a cup of coffee that provides calm and balance,” says Caleb Backe, a wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “Don’t do this one right before bed, because although it is relaxing, it helps improve focus and alertness.” Next, read about these 37 ways to make managing stress much easier.

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