Breathe away your work stress
Breathe away your work stress

We breathe throughout the whole day. A lot of times we don’t pay a lot of attention to our breathe, while it’s an important that confronts us with ourselves. For example, fast and shallow breathing is often a sign of stress and tension. Shallow breathing is the drawing of minimal breath into the lungs, usually by drawing air into the chest area using the intercostal muscles rather than throughout the lungs via the diaphragm. 

Are you currently experiencing work stress? The following breathing exercises help reduce stress. By delaying your breathing a little more, you increase your lung capacity and you feel less stressed. 

4-7-8 breathing or ‘relaxing breath’ 

When: you notice that your breathing is superficial or accelerated, when you worry a lot or experience acute (work) stress. 

How to do it? 

  1. Begin by laying down or sitting in a comfortable position. 
  2. Rest your arms along your body with your palms facing up. 
  3. Take a deep breath and sigh or exhale through your mouth. Try to relax your face and jaw. 
  4. Breathe in 4 seconds as deeply as possible (feel your rib cage widen), hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale in 8 seconds.
  5. Repeat this 4 times. 
  6. Take a deep breath and sigh out. 

Equal breathing 

When: in preparation for a complex tasks, a meditation exercise or if you feel restless. 

How to do it? 

  1. Begin by sitting or standing comfortably. 
  2. Take a deep breath and sigh. 
  3. Breath in through the nose for 6 seconds. 
  4. Hold the breath for 6 seconds; your lungs are full. 
  5. Exhale through the nose for 6 seconds. 
  6. Hold the breath for 6 seconds; your lungs are empty. 
  7. Repeat this about 4 times or for a few minutes. 
  8. Take a deep breath and sigh out. 

Warning: People with heart problems and/or high blood pressure should be careful with this exercise. Holding these breaths may be too stressful for them. In that case, listen carefully to your body and explore how many counts are possible for you. 

The belly breathing

When: this is an exercise that you can do at any time. It can help you relax if you experience stress, anger or anxiety. You can even do it before going to sleep. 

How to do it? 

  1. Begin by laying down in a comfortable position. Place 1 or both hand palms on your lower abdomen. Relax your face and jaw.
  2. Bring your attention to your hand(s) and breathe in gently. Feel your belly expand. Then breathe out again and feel your hand move back. 
  3. Breathe in 4 seconds and exhale 4 seconds. Do this about 25 times (approximately 5 minutes). Take your time and don’t force anything. 

Warning: Are you pregnant? Hold your breath no longer than 2 seconds. 


Be patient with yourself. Are you unable to master the exercise the first time? Then try again. 

Try these exercises at home. This makes it more easy to do them when you’re at work. We hope you can breathe your stress away!

NiceDay actions 

Set up some reminders for yourself to do an exercise during work in the NiceDay app. Are you still experiencing (a lot of) stress? Ask your coach for help. And don’t forget: as with many things in life, it’s all about practicing. 

Share this post! If this post was insightful for you, share it with your loved ones so that they can better understand what you are going through.
Deel dit artikel! Als dit artikel voor jou inzichtelijk was, deel het dan met je omgeving - laten we het samen hebben over mentale gezondheid.


Hi, my name is Rita and via NiceDay I offer online treatment. That means that you will receive help on the moments you need it the most. It doesn’t matter where you live, you can connect with me, we don’t have a waiting list! We can chat or talk via video calling. It’s all about you and together we design a online treatment that fits your needs. We can communicate directly from your smartphone.

Related Posts

Gerelateerde berichten

Heb je een vraag? Onze professionals en ervaringsdeskundigen staan voor je klaar.

Ask your question to a professional or former client!