How to Relieve Anxiety and Stress in Under 5 Minutes!

Stressed at work?

Need an easy way to relax, relieve your anxiety and stress, and get deeper sleep?

The answer is actually pretty simple.

Breathing? Really? Yes…deep/slow paced breathing.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

If we learn to control our breathing we could change how we are feeling (i.e., relieve anxiety and stress).

A simple breathing exercise to relieve your anxiety and stress is called 4:4 Ocean Breathing.

Lucas Rockwood, internationally renowned yoga and breathing teacher/coach, has a great instructional video about how to do “ocean” breathing. Check it out!

What is “ocean” breathing?


Breathing in and out through the back of your throat. A simple way to practice is to hold out your hand like a mirror and practice fogging it up with your mouth open (the exhale) and sucking the air back into your mouth, your throat (the inhale).

Next, practice with your mouth closed. Inhale through the back of your throat (ocean breathing) for a count of 4. Exhale through the back of your throat (ocean breathing) for a count of 4.

The counting of 4 is the rate at which you are breathing. A count of 4 just means you’re counting to 4. It could certainly be 4 seconds but could also be shorter or longer than 4 seconds according to how fast or slow you decide to breathe.

Counting Tips:

  1. Count up on the inhale, 1…2…3…4
  2. Count down on the exhale, 4…3…2…1

If you are new to ocean breathing, it may feel awkward or weird at first. That is totally okay, don’t let it deter you, keep practicing. It took me a couple of sessions before I got it right.

You know you’re doing the ocean breathing correct, when you’re creating a nice smooth ocean sound in the back of your throat. Sometimes the ocean breathing sounds like snoring, that’s okay too, but try slowing the breathing down to make it more smooth. Practice makes permanent, not perfect!

Why is it called “ocean” breathing and why are we doing ocean breathing instead of nose breathing?

When you breathe in and out through your throat it also sounds like the ocean when it is quiet. Ocean breathing also sounds like a whisper or a quieter Darth Vader!

Ocean breathing does 2 important actions that are better than nose breathing alone.

  1. Ocean breathing makes it easier to control your breathing
  2. Stimulates your vagus nerve

This is very important because the vagus nerve is mainly responsible for your parasympathetic nervous system (aka “rest and digest”), which controls your digestive tract, heart, and lungs.

You want deeper relaxation, relieve anxiety and stress, find calm, and deeper sleep?

Practice ocean breathing!

If you have allergies, common cold, asthma, or any other type of respiratory challenge, illness, this may be more difficult. To offset this and still get most of the benefits, try this simple modification to help.

*If it is still hard to breathe, exhale with teeth breathing as well.
You can also roll your tongue and breath in that way &/or exhale with rolled tongue, instead of teeth breathing!

See how you feel after!


How to relieve your anxiety and stress in under 5 minutes? One of the easiest, safest, and quickest ways is to practice deep/slow paced breathing exercises.

4:4 Ocean breathing is recommended because you are stimulating the vagus nerve (i.e., relaxes you quicker) while making it easier to control your breathing when practicing.

It doesn’t matter where you are in life, this breathing exercise can help provide some relief from your anxiety, stress, manage your nervous system, and improve sleep.

This breathing exercise is simple, safe, accessible, and science-based.

If you found this blog post helpful, share it with someone that needs that quick and easy tool to help bring some relief.

You can find other blogs, stress management tips, educational content, and my FREE private discovery call for stress management on my website;

When will you add this breathing exercise to your daily routine?



I teach people how to manage their stress, anxiety, nervous systems, and sleep with breathwork

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Niles Drasites

I teach people how to manage their stress, anxiety, nervous systems, and sleep with breathwork