ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Breathe, Breath Work and Breath Walking: Ways to Relax and Destress

Updated on August 30, 2014

Breathe in, Breathe out

Breathe Deeply
Breathe Deeply | Source

A Powerful Relaxation Tool

Many people are surprised to discover that they carry a powerful relaxation technique with them at all times. All they need to do is become aware and plug into it to take advantage of the many benefits.

What is this powerful relaxation tool?

The breath and breathing.

Slowing down to focus on one's breath can be very a effective method for helping to consciously relax; this technique can also have powerful effects on one's ability to cope with stress.

Breathing, Breath Work and Breathwalking are three very simple ways to relax, unwind and destress.

Count Your Breaths

15 breaths/minute x 60 minutes/hour x 24 hours/day = 21,600 breaths/day

Defining Breathe

Breathe has several different definitions according to

"To breathe" is:

  • To take in air (or oxygen) into the lungs,
  • To inhale and exhale
  • To respire
  • To pause
  • To take rest

While the initial definitions focus on the physiological effects of the breath that are needed to sustain life, the latter definitions, "to pause" and "to take rest" focus on the relaxation and stress reduction effects.

Poll on Breaths

What is the average number of breaths that you take each day?

See results

Just Breathe Decal

Just Breathe Wall Decal Quote Sticker Living Room Stickers Vinyl Removable Black Color High 50cm Wide 70cm
Just Breathe Wall Decal Quote Sticker Living Room Stickers Vinyl Removable Black Color High 50cm Wide 70cm
My favorite breathing mantra, "Just Breathe." Put the decal on the walls as a visual reminder to breathe.

Health Benefits of Breathing

Breathing has been shown to have many different health benefits from helping to manage stress to managing a variety of different chronic illness.

Some of the mental health issues improved by just breathing include:

  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depression and mood disorders

In addition breathing helps improve the symptoms of several acute and chronic illness along with helping with pain management.

  • Asthma
  • Hot Flashes
  • Manage Chronic Illnesses: Heart disease, High blood pressure, Cancer and HIV/AIDS
  • Decrease Pain

Breathing is also important to the health and performance of athletes.

  • Increased endurance
  • Improved sports performance

Keep a Visual Reminder to Breathe

Keep a Visual Reminder to Breathe
Keep a Visual Reminder to Breathe | Source

Breath Awareness Mantra

Use this quote as a mantra to help in relaxing and being present.

Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is a wonderful moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Ways to Remember to Breathe

I use several different cues and visual reminders to help me remember to focus on my breath and to breathe.

Here are a few cues to use:

  • A small rock with "Breathe" on the desk.
  • A trinket dish with "inhale, exhale, repeat"
  • A pocket token with "Breathe."
  • A bracelet with "Just Breathe."
  • A wall decal with "Just Bareathe."
  • A walll hanging with "Keep Calm and Just Breathe."

A Question on Breathing

Do you think about your breath and breathing during the day?

See results

Breathing Just Happens

Breathing is something we do automatically every day on an average of 21,600 times.

It is a quick way to calm down, to quiet anger, to lower the heart rate and reduce stress,but many of us do not really stop to think about our breath or breathing.

Dr. Kirsti A. Dyer

Slow, Deep Breathing

One of the easiest techniques to learn is slow, deep breathing. This technique will help you calm down in just a few deep breaths.

  1. Pause to focus on the breath.
  2. Breathe in slowly and deeply.
  3. Breathe out slowly.
  4. Repeat at least 3 times.
  5. Feel your body relax.

When breathing in and out, you may want breath to count of 2 to 4, whatever it takes to get in a slow and deep breath.

This is a technique I have been writing about and teaching for many years.

Quick Calm Deep Breathing


I am warm.

I am calm.

Quick Calm Breathe

The Quick Calm Deep Breathing technique as explained by Jordan Friedman, The Stress Coack, is a helpful technique that can be used to calm down anytime.

Use it anytime you are faced with a stressful event like a presentation or exam, during an argument, when driving or flying and if having a panic episode.

Just remember “I am warm” and “I am calm.”

Breathing Techniques

Slow, Deep Breathing
4-7-8 Breathing
Breath Walking
1. Pause to focus on the breath
*Quick to teach to patients*
*Can be done outside*
2. Breathe in slowly and deeply
1. Breathe through the nose to a count of 4
Breathe in for 4
3. Breathe out slowly
2. Hold for a count of 7
Breathe out for 4
4. Repeat at least 3 times
3. Breath out through the nose to a count of 8.
Walk in cadence with the count of 4
5. Feel the body relax
Repeat for 4 cycles
Can do Wave or Stair breathing

Summaries of different breathing techniques used for relaxation and stress reduction.

Learn Breath Work and Breathwalking from the Experts

As part of a Fellowship program in Integrative Medicine, I have the privilege of learning from, breathing and walking with some of the leading experts in the field of Integrative Medicine.

The hand selected collection of video clips are ones that I have presented to my graduate and continusing education students in courses that I have taught on Integrative Medicine and on Grief, Loss and Bereavement.

Why Breathwork Maters - Dr. Andrew Weil

Focus on the Breath

Make your breath—Deeper, Slower, Quieter and More Regular

Dr. Andrew Weil

Thoughts on Breathing

In this first video Dr. Weil explains his thoughts on Breath Work.

He also shares how using the breath is an easy integrative practice that can provide great health benefits.

Breath Awareness - Dr. Andrew Weil

Breath Awareness and 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

This video was recorded at one of the Fellowship Residential Weeks by another one of the Integrative Medicine Fellows.

Listen to Dr. Weil discuss how one can become more aware of the breath. He then goes on to explain and demonstrate the 4-7-8 breathing technique.

Breath Awareness is shifting focus or becoming aware of the breath, particularly when dealing with stressful situations or when experiencing upsetting thoughts.

The 4-7-8 breathing technique can quickly and easily learned and then be taught to others including children in the classroom and patients in the office or hospital settings.

Breathing for Health

Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Minute Medicine - Dr. Tierarona Low Dog

4-7-8 Breathing technique - Dr. Tieraona Low Dog

In this video Dr. Tieraona Low Dog shares a Minute Medicine with a simple meditation technique that you can do anywhere, anytime.

Dr. Low Dog shares her view on breathing and the the 4-7-8 breathing technique as part of a book promo for her book, Life is Your Best Medicine.

Discover more about health, heaing and wholeness for women and men by reading her book on Life is Your Best Medicine.

Breathwalking - Dr. Jim Nicolai

Breathwalking Technique - Dr. Jim Nicolai

In this video, Integrative Medicine Fellow graduate, Dr. Jim Nicolai, demonstrates how you can easily combine breathing with walking or breathwalking.

He teaches how to breathe "fuller, deeper and more even" while walking at the same time. There are two main breathing styles, waves and stairs. Each are done to a count of 4.

With Breathwalking you get the benefits of walking, breathing and meditation all at the same time. This is a particulary helpful technique for those who enjoy being outside walking.

I had a chance to experience breathwalking with Dr. Nicolai at a conference in 2013 and it was a fun technique to learn. It is an easy meditative, movement technique to learn.

Just Breathe

Breathe - Just Breathe
Breathe - Just Breathe | Source

Review of Techniques

Several different breathing techniques were present on this page as ways to help in focusing, relaxing and unwinding.

The techniques include:

  • Slow, Deep Breaths
  • Breath Awareness
  • 4-7-8 Breathing
  • Breath Walking

Experiment with these different techniques and see which one or ones work the best for you.

© 2014 Kirsti A. Dyer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)