Skip to content

3 Calming Breathing Techniques That Will Help You Stay Positive

Kaia Roman
Author:
April 8, 2020
Kaia Roman
By Kaia Roman
mbg Contributor
Kaia Roman is the author of the highly-acclaimed self-help memoir, "The Joy Plan," which has been featured on the TODAY show and in Forbes, The New York Times, and more. Merging 20 years of brand experience work in Silicon Valley with her neuroscience and mindfulness research and training, Kaia is an intrepid entrepreneur and passionate advocate for people, projects, and products working toward a better world. You’ll find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at KaiaRoman.com.
Woman Sitting on a Hillside, Eyes Closed, Enjoying the Sun
Image by Joe+Kathrina / Stocksy
April 8, 2020

I, like so many people, am finding it challenging to remain positive these days. Though I'm fortunate enough to be able to stay inside, cabin fever is setting in, my family is getting on each other's nerves, and there's a steady stream of adrenaline-producing news in the background.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

It's the perfect recipe for negativity—which is why my mindfulness practice has become more important than ever. Mindful activities like breathwork can be incredibly beneficial for easing stress1, lowering blood pressure, improving mood2, and even altering the way the body responds to pain. Here are a few calming breathing techniques that can help us stay positive through these trying times:

"Let it go" breath:

  1. Begin by sitting in a comfortable position with your feet planted solidly on the ground. Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath.
  2. As you inhale, feel your belly and lungs expand. As you exhale, feel your feet grounded on the Earth, steadying you in uncertain times.
  3. On the next inhale, visualize moving any negativity that you've been experiencing all the way up from your grounded feet, through your body, into your head.
  4. On the exhale, imagine pushing all of that negativity out through your ears as gray smoke. See and feel it leaving your body completely.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Repeat this breath and visualization as often as you like. I recommend using it multiple times a day.

"Bubble of safety" breath:

  1. Find yourself in a comfortable position, sitting or lying down, and close your eyes.
  2. Start by bringing your attention to the rise and fall of your breath. Right here, right now, all you need to focus on is your breath.
  3. Next, become aware of your body: What sensations do you notice as you are sitting or lying in stillness?
  4. Now, expand your awareness to include the space around your body. That space may extend several inches or several feet, depending on what feels comfortable for you.
  5. As you take note of this space, imagine that it's your bubble of safety, enveloping you in a peaceful, impenetrable cocoon. Know that this bubble of safety is always with you, regardless of what's happening around you. 
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

"Grateful heart" breath:

  1. Begin by getting comfortable, either sitting or lying down, and then close your eyes.
  2. Start to pay attention to your breath, consciously deepening your inhale and slowing your exhale.
  3. Now, put your hands on your heart and bring to mind something, or someone, that you're grateful for. Choose an easy one: a person, place, situation, pet, etc., that really fills your heart with appreciation. 
  4. As you continue to deeply inhale and slowly exhale, let the feeling of gratitude wash over your entire body. Hold this feeling for one to five minutes, or longer if you like.

Feel free to come back to this exercise multiple times, adding more reasons to be grateful to your list.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Kaia Roman
Kaia Roman

Kaia Roman is the author of the highly-acclaimed self-help memoir, The Joy Plan, which has been featured on the TODAY show and in Forbes, The New York Times, and more. Publishers Weekly calls The Joy Plan “an energized and informative plan for transforming your life.” Merging 20 years of brand experience work in Silicon Valley with her neuroscience and mindfulness research and training, Kaia is an intrepid entrepreneur and passionate advocate for people, projects, and products working toward a better world. You’ll find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at KaiaRoman.com.