Your breath is the most amazing tool for balancing your body, mind and emotions. And one of the best things is that it is always available, no equipment required.

Using some of these breath techniques can be a great way for you to feel greater calm and wellness in all aspects of your life. Start with the simplest, and then deepen your practice.

Deep Abdominal Breathing

Deep abdominal breathing is a simple yet profound exercise. Learn to breathe while keeping your body relaxed, so that your abdomen expands on your inhale, and releases back with your exhale.

This helps ensure that your breath is relaxed and flows in a healthy way, to properly oxygenate your body and brain.

Coherent Breathing

Coherent breathing is a very simple yet profound practice. By balancing your in and out breaths, preferably around the six second mark, you put your body and mind into a state of coherence.

Breathing in this way allows your heart not just to beat smoothly, but for the heart beats to be very regular. This is measured in your heart rate variability. So, for example, if your heart is beating at 60 beats per second, those beats will all be evenly at 1 second apart, rather than one being at 0.9, the next at 1.05 and so on.

What this means is that both your body and mind work optimally. Your body is in a state of homeostasis, where your organs all function well and together. Your heart rate modulates the cycles of all your other organs, and keeps them running smoothly as a team.

This breathing also helps you to be more in tune with yourself. You will feel calm and alert, able to connect with your rational mind, your memory and your intuition. So, you can be more focused and also make better decisions by combining different kinds of wisdom.

Altogether, this is a great breath pattern to use at any time to allow you to think more clearly and feel calmer. As with any breathing practice, you'd be amazed the times you can give it a go. Little and often helps train your body to do this more, so you are in a better state all the time. So, why not give it a go while in the bathroom, or while doing the dishes, or when making coffee, or whatever else?

4-7-8 Breathing

This is one of the most effective techniques for calming your body and emotions. You can use it anytime, anywhere. And the more you use it, the easier it is to have it to hand in times of need.

As the name implies, the breath is made up of three parts. You first breath in on a count of 4, through your nose. Then you hold the breath for a count of seven. Finally, you breath out on a count of eight. The outbreath is normally done through pursed lips, or with your tongue tip touching the back of your top teeth and your lips pursed over it.

However, these are subtle nuances. Just breathing in, holding the breath, and then exhaling more slowly than you inhaled will already give you lots of benefits.

Balancing Breath

This is an exercise taken from energy psychology, especially as propagated by Dr. George Pratt and Peter Lambrou. Balancing breath is a powerful technique to bring equilibrium to your body, mind and emotions. It can be used before a tapping or meditation session, to get yourself into a wonderful state of calm. You can also use it afterwards, as a way to instal positive emotions and goals.

Collarbone Breathing

Collarbone breathing is an excellent technique for shaking things up when tapping isn’t achieving the results you want. You can use it for releasing emotional blockages. You can also use it for installing positive emotional states.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This traditional Indian breathing practice is sometimes called Anuloma Viloma, and can be practised a number of ways. Here, I demonstrate a simple version, breathing in through one nostril, holding, and breathing out through the other nostril. It is a great exercise to bring more calm and balance to your body and mind. It can be used in situations of anxiety, and is good because balancing the different sides of the brain brings you into a more connected and conscious mental state.

Cooling Breath

In this pranayama, or breathing exercise, you breath calmly over a rolled tongue. The benefit is that it acts to cool you, both physically and emotionally. So, why not give it a try when you feel hot anger starting to pulse?

Counting Your Breath

Many breathing techniques focus on how you breathe: how long is the in or out breath, how long do you pause, which nostril do you breathe through, do you breathe across your tongue. In this video, I share a technique which focuses on something to do while you are breathing. It is a simple form of mindfulness, with a touch of gentle self-compassion, and can be a calming and beautiful experience.

The Physiological Sigh

This quick effective technique is based on a natural breathing pattern your body does automatically in some stressful situations, such as after you've had a crying jag. It is made up of a quick double inhale, followed by a long, slow breath out.

This sends messages to the brain to slow your heart rate, as well as activating the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest mode), and clearing out old build-ups of CO2 from your lungs.

The delightful thing is, you can control your breath and harness these benefits any time you choose!