1. Simple and Relaxing – Four In, Four Out Slow Belly Breathing
Also Called: Relaxed Breathing, 4 Count Breathing, 4-1-4-1 Breathing
When we are anxious or threatened our breathing speeds up in order to get our body ready for danger. Relaxed breathing (sometimes called abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing) signals the body that it is safe to relax. Relaxed breathing is slower and deeper than normal breathing, and it happens lower in the body (the belly rather than the chest).
Make sure you are sitting or lying comfortably.
Close your eyes if you are comfortable doing so.
Breathe through your nose rather than your mouth if that is comfortable for you.
Deliberately slow your breathing down.
Breathe in to a count of 4
Pause for a moment
Breathe out to a count of 4
Make sure that your breaths are smooth, steady, and continuous – not jerky; pay particular attention to your out-breath – make sure it is smooth and steady
Am I doing it right? What should I be paying attention to?
Relaxed breathing should be low down in the abdomen (belly), and not high in the chest. You can check this by putting one hand on your stomach and one on your chest Try to keep the top hand still, your breathing should only move the bottom hand Focus your attention on your breath – some people find it helpful to count in their head to begin with (”In … two … three … four … pause … Out … two … three … four … pause …”)
How long and how often?
Try breathing in a relaxed way for at least a few minutes at a time – it might take a few minutes for you to notice an effect. If you are comfortable, aim for 5-10 minutes Try to practice regularly – perhaps three times a day
Variations and troubleshooting
Find a slow breathing rhythm that is comfortable for you. Counting to 4 isn’t an absolute rule. Try 3 or 5. The important thing is that the breathing is slow and steady Some people find the sensation of relaxing to be unusual or uncomfortable at first but this normally passes with practice. Do persist and keep practicing.”
Remember: If stressed, say slowly to yourself while breathing from your relaxed belly: “One, Two, Three, Four, Pause. One, Two, Three, Four, Pause.” Repeat for a few minutes.

2. For When You’re Super Anxious and Need a Quick Solution – Whole Body Muscle Tensing and Relaxing
This exercise is a relative of Progressive Muscle Relaxation. In Progressive Muscle Relaxation, you relax and tense each muscle group progressively and reach deeper and deeper states of relaxation as you go. That takes time though. This one is more of an emergency measure. If you are facing anything that is anxiety provoking, like a meeting or public speaking for example, this one can be done quickly. If you have more time, you can do it over again several times, or instead do Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
Take a very deep breath in with your mouth open; fill your lungs up.
Hold your breath.
While holding your breath, tense muscles all over your body as tense as you can – face, fingers, toes, shoulders, stomach, butt, legs etc. – without injuring yourself (if you have a known issue go easy on that part of your body)
Count 5-10 seconds while holding your breath and keeping all muscles tense.
Then relax everything, let go of all the tension in your muscles and
Slowly let your breath out.

3. To Break Out of Being Triggered – 4-4-4-4 Breathing
Breathe in while counting to 4. Make it a deep, belly breath.
Hold your Breath while counting to 4.
Breathe out while counting to 4.
Hold your Breath while counting to 4.
Do this sequence 2 more times.
This exercise, as I understand it, is specifically for breaking the threat response cycle in the nervous system. There is perception of an overwhelming threat and the system goes into freeze/flight/fight response. The autonomic nervous system is telling the breathing to become shallow and fast in order to respond to the threat.
Then you step in and by using your voluntary muscles to open and close the breathing deliberately, slowly, fully and deeply, you are using the somatic nervous system (voluntary moving muscles) to influence something that, when in a trauma response, is under the control of the autonomic nervous system. The breathing acts as the bridge between the two systems.
Eventually, by putting this bridge into action, you break the connection between the threat and the breathing.
For example, slow breathing in general seems to allow people to slow their entire system (mind, emotions, body) down enough to integrate pieces of what happened to them that came too quickly for their system to process during the event.
Additionally, deep breathing in general seems to allow emotional release and processing of the energy stuck in the body from the trauma (people may, after a while of breathing, begin crying, tingling, feeling hot or cold, releasing energies from the trauma).
All of the natural responses to trauma – the fight/flight response to stimulus, the arrested and unmoving state of not processing anything and repression of the energies and emotions from the trauma – are normally held static inside the body indefinitely to wreak havoc. Breathing is able to get a whole slew of things un-stuck and moving.
The idea is to try to disconnect the thought of the trigger from the automatic response of fight and flight in the nervous system.
Very similar to this one is:

4. To Train the Mind and Body To Find Peace – 4-6-4-6 Breathing
Breath in for a count of 4
Hold for a count of 6
Breathe out for a count of 4
Hold for a count of 6
Envision it like a rectangle. The 4-6-4-6 breath trains the mind to be peaceful.

5. For Soothing the Nervous System – The Sigh
Breath in.
When you breath out, open your mouth and exhale the air with the sound of the air releasing, a soft sigh sound.
Relax your shoulders, neck and other muscles and let everything go.
Do 3 or 4 times, or however many times feel right.

6. For Deep Relaxation – Buteyko Small Breath Holds
With your mouth closed, take a small, but calm and relaxed, breath in.
Take a small breath out.
Block your nose.
Hold for a count of 5
Gentle, soft breathing in-between sets
Tongue rests at the roof of the mouth; Teeth slightly apart; jaw relaxed; Drop shoulders; relax chest and belly; Relax facial muscles.

7. For Centreing and Integrating the Past – Alternate Nostril Breathing
Sit down on a chair
Close the right nostril with your right thumb. Then inhale slowly through your left nostril.
Then close the left nostril with your right index finger and open the right nostril by removing the right thumb. Exhale very slowly through the right nostril.
Then draw the air through the right nostril as long as you can do it with comfort and exhale through the left nostril by removing the right index finger
This is one round. Do 12 rounds.
Note that for this, breathing in and out should be as slow, soft, steady and long as possible. But don’t force.
The alternate nostril breathing harmonizes the whole nervous system and balances the activity of both hemispheres of the brain.

8. To Slow Your Heart Rate & Blood Pressure – 4-7-8- Breathing
For any breathing exercise, when the exhale is longer than the inhale this slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. When you pause after inhaling it slows the heart rate. Divers do breathing exercises to control their heart rate.
Also, for any breathing exercise that involves counting, the counting itself can be calming as well because of focusing your mind on something simple and rhythmic, something other than what is causing the stress.
You can do this exercise standing, lying down, or sitting in a chair (keeping your back straight and both feet on the floor). You may keep your eyes open or closed. Count at a comfortable pace for yourself and don’t force anything.
Begin by exhaling all the air out through your mouth.
Curl the tip of your tongue up to touch the hard ridge behind your upper front teeth and hold it there for the duration of the exercise.
Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of 4. Don’t force it, but take a good breath as this has to last for the next 15 counts.
Hold your breath for a count of 7.
Open your mouth and exhale through your mouth (still pressing the tip of your tongue to the hard ridge behind your upper front teeth) for a count of 8. You will make a sound as the air moves around your tongue. You may want to purse your lips if this helps you to direct the flow of your exhalation.
Repeat 4 times.
At the end of the last cycle, relax and notice how you feel. Try and finish with a smile