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3 Simple Breathing Techniques for Meditation

by BetterSleep
Jul 11 • 4 min read

Meditation may be able to help manage anxiety, depression, and stress. It’s become a thoroughly researched topic, and as more light comes to the surface, more benefits are starting to become known.

There’s a large variety of meditation methods available some involving visualization, music, and even a spoken guide. Regardless of all this, breathing techniques for meditation are one powerful way you can ground yourself and get the most out of your practice.

In today’s article, we’ll explain what breathing techniques are and the many different breathing meditations you can do.

What are breathing techniques?

Meditation breathing techniques can also be classified as mindful breathing. The idea is to become present and aware of your breath.

Doing so allows you to bring your body into a state of calmness and awareness, allowing you to fully experience the meditation you’re taking part in.

3 Different Breathing Techniques You Can Use for Meditation

There are many different breathing techniques you can use for meditation:

5-5-5 breathing technique

As the name suggests, this technique involves 3 steps of breathing. Each step is done for 5 seconds, for a total time of 15 seconds.

  • Step 1 - For 5 seconds inhale slowly through your nose
  • Step 2 - For 5 seconds hold your breath
  • Step 3 - Release the breath through your mouth for 5 seconds
  • Step 4 - Repeat steps 1 to 3 for the total time of your meditation

For this breathing meditation along with the others, instead of worrying about meditating “properly,” it’s best to focus on taking it one breath at a time. This will help you stay focused on the main aspect of meditation: being in the present moment.

4-7-8 breathing technique

Like the 5-5-5 technique, this breathing method follows a numerical timeline with each breath:

  • Step 1 - Breath in through the nose for 4 seconds
  • Step 2 - Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds
  • Step 3 - Exhale through your mouth for a total of 8 seconds

What’s most important is that you keep the ratio through the steps. For someone who might have a harder time holding their breath, you could do the same technique just with a reduced time frame while maintaining the ratio.

Zen breathing

This technique is probably one of the simpler ones to follow. There’s no pausing and holding your breath for a certain time. It goes as follows:

  • Step 1 - Find a comfortable position, sitting or laying down.
  • Step 2 - Become aware of your breathing, pay attention to how you’re exhaling and inhaling.
  • Step 3 - Start taking things slower. Inhale slowly for 4 seconds. Then, exhale slowly for 4 seconds.
  • Step 4 - Visualize your breath entering and leaving your lungs. You can put your hand against your chest to become aware of the raising and lowering.
  • Step 5 - Repeat for as long as needed through your meditation.

There are many ways to meditate; for some people, it’s hard to do on your own. BetterSleep offers a guided breathing meditation to help you find your zen. Try BetterSleep today!

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