5 Breathing Techniques You Can Use to Have Better Emotional Control

Simple Exercises That Will Keep You Calm and Reduce Stress

Neel Raman
7 min readJan 24


Using breathing techniques when you feel stressed, anxious, frustrated, or sad can help you gain control over your emotions.

Do you struggle with emotional control? Are you feel angry, sad, anxious, or depressed at times?

When you feel stressed, your body release adrenaline, cortisol, and other hormones that triggers “negative” emotions. You also can calm down and get your emotions under control. Applying proper breathing techniques can help you manage the effects of stress and unhealthy emotions.

When you learn and apply breathing techniques, you will know how to relax and have better emotional control.

1-Minute Summary Video

Why are Breathing Techniques Important?

Breathing techniques help you stay calm when you’re stressed out. They help you relax your body and give you energy when you need it most.

When you practice deep or proper abdominal breathing, oxygen enters your bloodstream and helps your brains function better. When you take deep breaths, you’re giving yourself the mental boost you need to be productive and focused.

There’s another reason breathing techniques are important. You can feel anxious because you’re not getting enough air. Your breathing rate increases and lungs aren’t filling up properly. This causes you to breathe shallower, which causes you to experience shortness of breath.

By taking deep breaths, you slow down your breathing and fill your lungs completely, which helps get rid of any anxiety you may be feeling. Deep breathing calms your nerves and gives you energy. It boosts your moods and improves your concentration. When you practice breathing techniques, you learn to regulate your emotional states.

Deep breathing isn’t just useful during stressful situations. It’s helpful anytime we feel anxious. It can also improve our sleep quality.

Having a deep breathing practice as part of your daily routines will calm you down and allow you to regain emotional balance. You can use breathing techniques anytime you need to calm yourself down.

breathing techniques

What are the Benefits of Practicing Breathing Techniques?

The beneficial effects of practicing breathing techniques include:

  • Improved mood.
  • Reduced anxiety.
  • Boost to energy levels.
  • Improved sleep quality.
  • Better focus.
  • Staying calm in difficult situations.
  • Increased self-confidence.
  • Improved memory.
  • Better mental health, emotional control, and physical health.
  • Improved work performance.

Breathing techniques and relaxation exercises are great tools for stress management.

5 Breathing Techniques That Will Improve Your Mental and Emotional Health

Here are five simple breathing exercises you can use to reduce stress and stay in a relaxed state for better mental and emotional health.

1. Box Breathing

In the box breathing technique, you breathe in, hold your breath, and breathe out equally. Here’s how it works:

  • Preferably sitting in an upright position with your eye closed, inhale as much as you can up to the count of four.
  • Hold your breath up to the count of four.
  • Exhale through your mouth up to the count of four, pushing as much air out of your upper chest as you can.
  • Repeat the process.

This is a simple breathing exercise that can easily become part of your daily activities.

2. Wim Hof Breathing

The Wim Hof breathing technique was founded by Wim Hof, who is known for his extraordinary physical accomplishments. It’s a diaphragmatic breathing technique that requires consistent practice to get comfortable with it.

The steps are as follows:

  • Step 1: Get into a comfortable position, which can be a sitting meditative pose or lying down.
  • Step 2: Close your eyes and let go of thoughts you have or any distractions and focus on your breath. Inhale deeply through your mouth or nose and exhale through your mouth. Next, do belly breathing, where you imagine you’re breathing through your belly and breathe out through your mouth. Then do chest breathing and breathe through your chest and again, exhale through your mouth. Repeat this 30 to 40 times in short bursts.
  • Step 3: After the last exhale, inhale as deeply as you can. Then let the air out of your lungs and stop breathing. Keep holding your breath until you have the urge to breathe in again.
  • Step 4: When you have the urge to breathe in again, take in one deep breath until you cannot inhale anymore. Hold your breath for about 15 seconds, then exhale. This will complete round one. You can repeat this cycle three to four times.

After you’ve completed three to four cycles, return to normal breathing and allow yourself a few moments to remain in your meditative position before you get up.

3. Alternate Nostril Breathing

The alternate nostril breathing technique is one you can do to lower your stress levels. Here are the steps:

  • Sit with your eyes closed in a meditative positive. It’s your choice whether to have your legs crossed or uncrossed.
  • Rest your left hand next to you. If you’re sitting on the floor, you can place your hand on the floor. If you’re sitting in a chair or lounge, you can rest your left hand in your left thigh. Breathe out and use your right thumb to gently close your right nostril.
  • Inhale deeply, using your left nostril only. Move your right finger to your left nostril and close it. Release the pressure of your thumb on your right nostril and exhale deeply through your right nostril.
  • Inhale deeply through your right nostril and close it with your right finger. Exhale completely through your left nostril.
  • Repeat the process for three to four more rounds for greater positive effects.

The alternate nostril breathing technique is a quick way to calm down and reduce anxiety.

4. 4–7–8 Breathing

The 4–7–8 breathing technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, which is based on an ancient yoga technique called pranayama, which allows anyone to have better control of their breathing patterns.

This relaxation technique calms your nervous system and puts you in a relaxed state, which is helpful to do before going to sleep.

The steps are as follows:

  • Get into a comfortable seated position. Let your lips part. Exhale completely, making a whooshing sound as you let your breath out through your mouth.
  • Close your lips and inhale through your nose to the count of four.
  • Hold your breath to the count of seven.
  • Exhale through your mouth as you make another whooshing sound to the count of eight.
  • Repeat this cycle four more times.

It’s recommended to practice this breathing technique for four cycles only when first starting out. Once you get comfortable with it, you can increase it to eight cycles.

5. Pursed Lip Breathing

The pursed lip breathing technique focuses on slowing your breath intentionally. After taking a deep breath, you pucker your lips and exhale slowly, while doing breath counting.

These are the steps to follow:

  • Get into a relaxed state by either being in a seated position or lying down.
  • Inhale through your nose to a count of two. Fill your abdomen with air, not just your lungs.
  • Exhale with your lips pursed, breathing out slowly, taking twice as long or to a count of four.
  • Repeat the process.

The longer you practice the pursed lip breathing technique, you can increase the inhale to a count of four and the exhale to a count of eight.

Final Thoughts

Learning deep breathing techniques can be beneficial to your overall health. When you breathe properly, you’ll feel more energized and less stressed.

You can try these breathing exercises anytime and anywhere. They won’t take much time, but they will give you wonderful benefits.

Action Step: Choose one breathing technique to practice this week. Focus only on that technique until you become more familiar with it. Then you can move onto another technique.

Question: Which breathing techniques will you practice regularly for better emotional control?

Related Posts

7 Powerful Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt
7 Easy Things You Can Do to Raise Your Vibration
5 Surprising Things You May Think is Important in Life But is Not
7 Reasons Why Meditation Will Make You Happier and More Successful
How to Achieve More Success With an Accountability Partner
5 Ways to Take Control of Your Mornings and Set Yourself Up For a Great Day

Like This Post?

Sign up for my weekly updates and never miss a post. I’ll also send you my ebook titled, “How to Set Your Week Up for Maximum Results” as a thank-you.



Neel Raman

If you’re a leader that wants your team to perform better, get a free copy of my bestselling book, “Building High-Performing Teams” here: http://bit.ly/2rS1T4F