4 Breathing Techniques to Mellow Your Mood

Have you ever had one of those mornings where you wake up and it feels like the tentacles of negativity just won’t let go?  Once you’re in that negative space, it’s hard to find the positive, right? Did you know that simple breathing techniques can help you make it through?

Next time you’re feeling anxious, frustrated, angry, or simply blah try some of these breathing techniques to help re-center yourself and mellow your mood.

The 4-7-8 Method:

This is a simple breathing technique to help you regulate your breathing and get oxygen into your noggin. Start by breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out through your mouth for 8 seconds.  Repeating that for 3-5 times is enough to re-oxygenate your brain cells and get you thinking more clearly.

Belly Breathe:

Sit or lie comfortably. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breathe in (using the 4-7-8 Method) and focus on having your belly expand as though you are filling up a balloon with that air.  Purse your lips as though you’re going to drink through a straw, and as you exhale, pretend you are deflating that balloon. Repeat as often as desired.

Drawing Squares:

This technique is great when your mind feels like it’s on overload. Take your finger and pretend you are drawing a square in front of you. Breathe in for a count of 5 seconds as you draw the top line from left to right, breathe out for 5 seconds as you draw the line from right top to right bottom, in for 5 seconds as you draw bottom line from right to left, and exhale as you finish the final line.  Your mind is only able to focus on one thing at a time.  By putting focus on the drawing of the square, your brain will release the other racing thoughts.  This is a perfect technique to use right before bed.

5 Senses Breathing:

This is my all-time favorite! This one works best if you’re outside and it literally takes less than 60 seconds to do.  Go outside and close your eyes.  As you breathe using the 4-7-8 Method, begin to get your senses involved. What are you hearing? Get in touch with what you’re feeling against your skin? What do you smell?  Now open your eyes and look around you.  What do you see? Describe everything in detail to yourself.  This method helps you sense what’s going on inside your body.  The more in tune you can be with your senses, the easier it will be to notice the early warning signs of stress, anxiety, and tension. 

Mood control is all about awareness and we don’t become aware of our body’s signals unless we’re looking for them.  Try these breathing techniques out and let me know how it goes for you!

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