Calming Breathing Exercises You Can Do in a Zero Gravity Chair
Breathing is something that you may not put too much thought towards on a regular basis but is essential to life. When you breathe in, blood cells receive oxygen which helps your body function, allows you to heal, and affects your mental state.
Sometimes if you’re overstressed or experiencing anxiety, you might find it difficult to breathe, however. To help you combat these moments and to manage stress and anxiety better, we’re taking a look at calming breathing exercises you can do in a zero gravity chair as part of your self care routine. These simple exercises may make a world of difference and help you center yourself on a daily basis.
Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises
When we’re anxious or stressed, we tend to take shorter, shallower, and more rapid breaths directly from the chest. This is a rhythm called thoracic breathing (or chest breathing), and disrupts the normal levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your system causing an elevated heart rate, possible dizziness, increased muscle tension, and other negative physical effects. Chest breathing can also exacerbate anxiety attacks or panic attacks by signaling further stress responses from the body.
Calming breathing exercises are aimed at stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and regulating your heartbeat, blood flow, and even digestion. It helps reduce cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone within our bodies that gives us the fight-or-flight response in stressful situations.
As cortisol levels decrease by doing breathing exercises for stress, you may also experience an elevation of your mood, stress relief, and an overall boost in both your mental and physical health. There have even been studies that have shown positive effects of breathing exercises for high blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Calming Breathing Exercises You Can Do At Home
Now that you’ve gotten a better understanding of the benefits of calming breathing exercises for stress, let’s take a look at simple breathing exercises you can do in a zero gravity chair while relaxing at home!
Some of our favorite calming breathing exercises include:
- Alternate-nostril breathing
- Box breathing
- Belly breathing
- Mindful breathing while meditating
- Resonance breathing
Calming Breathing Exercises #1: Alternate-Nostril Breathing
First up on our list of calming breathing exercises is alternate-nostril breathing. These repetitions have been shown to be effective breathing exercises for high blood pressure and may help with anxiety or stress.
Alternate-nostril breathing involves blocking off one nostril at a time as you breathe through the other. You alternate between nostrils in a regular pattern, taking a deep inhale and slow exhale each time.
We recommend trying to complete ten rounds of these simple breathing exercises on each side, but if you begin to feel dizzy take a break and only do as much as you can. After you’ve completed your last set, release both nostrils and breathe normally.
Calming Breathing Exercises #2: Box Breathing
Box breathing exercises, also called four-square breathing, are simple breathing exercises for stress that you may have actually performed before without realizing! Have you ever found yourself breathing in and out to the rhythm of music while relaxing in your zero gravity chair? This is similar to an example of box breathing.
For box breathing, follow these steps:
- Exhale while you count to four
- Hold your lungs empty for another four count.
- Inhale while counting to four.
- Hold air in your lungs for another four count.
- Exhale and begin this simple breathing exercise again.
It really is that simple! These calming breathing exercises are paced and may help you take control over stress or anxiety. You can repeat the action as many times as you like until you feel calm and collected.
Calming Breathing Exercises #3: Belly Breathing
Belly breathing exercises are forms of deep breathing. According to the American Institute of Stress, 20 to 30 minutes of belly breathing (also called deep breathing) each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. These calming breathing exercises are simple relaxation tips you can do while you sit and relax in a zero gravity chair. As your stress and anxiety lessen, you’re helping enhance how the body heals itself and boosting your mental health, as well.
Whether you’re sitting upright or reclined into the zero gravity position, belly breathing exercises go like this:
- Place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand on your belly.
- Relax your stomach but don’t force it inward by squeezing or engaging your stomach muscles.
- Slowly inhale through your nose. The air should move into your nose and downward through your body so that you feel your stomach rise with your lower hand on the inhale and lower towards your spine on the exhale.
- Hold this breath deeply for a few seconds then exhale slowly through your lips.
The hand on your chest during these breathing exercises for stress should remain relatively still. There may be subtle movements, but the majority of movement in your body should be focused on your belly to be sure you’re breathing from there.
Calming Breathing Exercises #4: Mindfulness Breathing During Meditation
Learning how to meditate at home by practicing zero gravity meditation is a potentially effective way to help manage stress and calm yourself. There are calming breathing exercises you can add to your mindfulness meditation, however, to take your experience to the next level.
Mindfulness meditation in your zero gravity chair isn’t about clearing your mind of all thoughts, but of acknowledging your thoughts without judgment as they occur. When you add mindfulness breathing into the mix, you’ll shift your focus from acknowledging your thoughts to focusing on slow, deep breaths while you meditate. This experience can be extremely calming and is one of the most simple breathing exercises you can do anywhere.
If you find yourself unable to solely concentrate on your breathing at first, you’re not alone! Beginners and experienced meditators alike may choose to focus on the number of breaths they take. If you have another thought enter your mind during these calming breathing exercises, simply start your count over. You can set milestones to meet or simply count until you feel sufficiently calm, centered, and relaxed.
Calming Breathing Exercises #5: Resonance Breathing
Last up on our list of calming breathing exercises you can do in a zero gravity chair is resonance breathing. Resonance breathing (also called coherent breathing) repetitions are excellent breathing exercises for stress and anxiety. Practicing resonance breathing may help you take back control over anxiety or stress and help put you in a relaxed state. These exercises have also been shown to be potentially effective breathing exercises for high blood pressure as well as able to elevate your mood.
To practice resonance breathing in a zero gravity chair, follow these steps:
- Recline into the zero gravity position and close your eyes.
- Slowly and gently breathe in through your nose with your mouth closed while counting to six. Be mindful, however, to not overfill your lungs with air.
- Hold this breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly for another count to six. Let your breath leave your body without forcing it.
- Repeat this pattern for up to 10 minutes.
After you’ve finished these repetitions, you may want to take a few more minutes to remain still and focus on how your body feels. This makes for a natural segue into mindfulness breathing while you continue relaxing in a zero gravity chair. This can make for a potentially effective and relaxing night time routine to help manage stress levels and improve sleep quality.
Calming breathing exercises are easy to do and may noticeably improve your ability to manage stress and anxiety levels. In addition to stress management, the positive effects of breathing exercises for high blood pressure, relaxation, sleep quality, and elevating your mood make them something you’ll definitely want to add to your daily routine. Even a few minutes each day practicing simple breathing exercises can make a huge difference in your life and boost your overall well being.
For more health benefits of zero gravity chairs, check out these resources and learn how they pair perfectly for people of all ages: