Top 4 Breathing Exercises: Reduce Workplace Stress

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Unmanaged stress is like running through life while wearing a blindfold: One bad move is followed by a more catastrophic one. It starts innocently. Perhaps with an argument with a co-worker or boss? Maybe you are overwhelmed with a lot of work to do? Ultimately, the source of stress does not matter. What does matter is the way you handle your stress.  SOULSSCAPE is going to cut right to the chase and tell you to flat out that not addressing it is not an option. This is why: When at work, stress drastically declines productivity. Likewise, it affects the ability to think, both emotionally and intellectually. As your capacity for creativity shuts down. Your work output will suffer. Wrapped in a not-so-cosy cocoon of tension, avoidable errors reproduce themselves without you noticing because your brain is moving as fast as dried oatmeal. Oh, but, wait… it gets worse. Oh, so much worse. When our cups runneth over, everyone gets a piece of the action.  You have snarked on the phone to a client while composing a fiery email complaining to your internet company that is accidentally sent to your boss who is now aware you have a sparky temperament and use company time liberally to take care of personal business. We do not need to tell you, this is not the type of mess you do not want to make. 

 “More than one path to the mountain top.” Avoiding The Path of No Return: Getting a Grip on Stress 

You will be happier than happy to know that as a part of the mindfulness act, calmness of the mind and body is easily attained through breathing. Yes. You read that right: Breathing. It may seem too good to be true. Or at least, too simple to be true. The fact of the matter is that we live in an ultra fast-paced society. We race time by zipping through space. To maintain ourselves, it is essential we reconnect to the natural current of our rhythm.

Top 4 Breathing Exercises Reduce Workplace Stress

This is why so many of us turn to yoga. This is also why when practising yoga your teacher tells you to focus on your breathing. It is weird to imagine that yoga is applicable in the work place. At its core, yoga is not merely about a mat laying on the floor of a studio space.  Many yoga principles can (and should) be used anywhere and everywhere. We totally understand the implications behind the embarrassment of casting poses at work!

The Buddha reminds us”There is more than one path to the mountain top.” The same is true with yoga. There is more than one way and one place to practice yoga.  Join us as we unravel the best 4 breathing exercises that eliminate work stress.

Square Breathing or Equal Breathing

Helpful in easing the mind, equal breathing is excellent to use to separate yourself from distracting thoughts. Distracting thoughts are the devils that prohibit your creative mind from bursting into new and colourful open spaces. This calming exercise will increase your focus while at the same time significantly reduce stress.

What you need to do:

  1. Keep your body in a comfortable sitting position.
  2. As you breathe air inside, count to four.
  3. Hold that breath for four seconds.
  4. Slowly, exhale until the count of four and stop –for four seconds.
  5. Repeat this sequence by maintaining four-second breathing pace.

If in any case you feel slightly dizzy, reduce the counting to one until you find a comfortable breathing pace. 

Relaxing Breathe or 4-7-8

This is often referred to as the natural tranquilizer for the nervous system due to its calming effect. Routinely done, Relaxing Breathe enables one to become aware of subtle stress and tension held onto. At the same time, this breathing technique removes that stress and tension. This is because more conscious we become of stress and tension is the first step to removing it.

This breathing exercise can be used in multiple ways. Whenever something unexpected happened, this breathing allows one to identify a sacred space to relax within for a couple of minutes before deciding the best action to take. Avoiding making decisions when upset is bad medicine. Just think of the word: UP-SET.

An object that is upset is tipped over or on its side. Always, it is best to be aligned and in balance before plunging into the unknown.

What you need to do:

  1. Completely exhale using only your mouth to extract air.
  2. Inhale using your nose – count until four.
  3. Hold the breath for seven counts.
  4. Exhale, completely through your mouth  – up to the count of eight.
  5. Repeat the whole cycle three times.

Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal Breathing is effectively calming especially when anticipating a stressful situation like presentations, deadlines, interviews or business trips. Abdominal Breathing is promising. However, note you do not shock your breathing to a new breath counting. Take it slowly as you progress on the desired breathing time.  Abdominal Breathing is known to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. When done properly, you will release tension in no time!

What you need to do:

  1. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly (this enables you to focus on our goal).
  2. Inhale through the nose while making sure that the belly/diaphragm rises up as air fills in.
  3. Repeat the whole process and do this for 10 minutes.


Breathe Counting

Meditating by focusing on your breathe is key to a calm mind and body!  Breath counting is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. It will enable you to remove distractions in your mind while creating space for you to relax at the same time.

What you need to do:

  1. Close your eyes and imagine yourself at a peaceful place.
  2. Warm up: take a couple of deep breaths and then exhale.
  3. Count to one as you exhale.
  4.  Slowly count to two up to five as you exhale on the next cycle.
  5. After five, go back to counting one as you exhale.
  6. Repeat the routine.
  7. Do this for 10 minutes as a form of meditation.


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