Relieve Stress With Visualization Breathing

Breathing and visualization can both lead to relaxation
Breathing mixed with visualization can lead to more powerful relaxation. Geri Lavrov/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Both visualization and breathing exercises have been found to be great stress relief strategies. Here are some ways that you can use visualization techniques with breathing exercises to achieve quick and effective stress relief.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5 or More Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Close Your Eyes And Relax.
    Let your breathing get become slower and deeper.
  2. Practice Stress Relief Breathing.
    Breathe from your diaphragm or belly instead of from your shoulders or chest. Don't force it, but let your breathing become natural and relaxed.
  1. Visualize...
    As you breathe in, imagine that 'relaxation' is coming into your body and flowing through your limbs, reaching every part of you. As you exhale, imagine that all the stress from your body is being exhaled. After a few minutes, you should feel more 'full' of peace, and the stress in your body should be reduced.​
  2. Or...
    As you breathe, imagine that your hands and feet are getting warmer. With practice, this can further reverse your stress response and actually warm your extremities, relaxing your body in the process.
  3. Another Idea...
    Imagine that, with each breath, your body is becoming more and more loose. With each exhale, your limbs are a little more like spaghetti, your face a little more expressionless, your body a still pool of water.
  4. Keep Breathing.
    For five minutes or twenty, continuing this exercise can relieve stress and help you return to your activities (and stressors) with a renewed sense of strength and serenity.


    1. If you're really tired and fear that this will put you to sleep, keep your practice to about 5 minutes, or set an alarm.
    2. Conversely, if you're having trouble sleeping, this exercise may prove very helpful.
    3. You may also want to try other breathing exercises.

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