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3 Breathing Exercises to Calm Your Nerves and Improve Performance

Breathing exercises are a wonderful resource to calm the nerves and can be done anytime, anywhere.

Box Breathing is a simple and easy practice to learn and works in a rhythm. This type of breathing is best right before having to perform at work, athletics, or a similar stressor.

  1. Exhale to a count of four.
  2. Hold your lungs empty for a four-count.
  3. Inhale to a count of four.
  4. Hold the air in your lungs for a count of four.
  5. Exhale and repeat the pattern as many times as you’d like! Typically, 3-5 cycles will affect your autonomic nervous system, slowing down your heart rate and creating calm throughout the body.

Belly Breathing encourages the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, calms the nerves, and sharpens focus. This is a great exercise to do regularly and throughout periodic intervals while having to perform at work, in athletics, or in a similar stressful environment.

  1. Put one hand over your heart and the other hand over your stomach, over your belly button.
  2. Relax your belly, releasing all tension from your abdominal muscles.
  3. Slowly breathe in through your nose, feeling the air moving in and out of your nose, and at the same time, your stomach will rise and fall.
  4. Exhale slowly out of your mouth. The hand over your chest should not move during this exercise.

Resonance Breathing, also known as coherent breathing, is a great exercise to do the night before and morning of having to perform at work, athletics, or a similar stressor.

  1. You’ll want to lay or sit comfortably, completely still.
  2. Breathe in through your nose for six seconds.
  3. Exhale gently for a count of six seconds.
  4. Repeat this process for up to 10 minutes.


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