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Breathwork for Emotional Release: Starting the Year with a Clear Mind and Heart


Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Setting the stage for emotional well-being is essential as you venture into a new year filled with hopes and resolutions. Emotional baggage, accumulated over time, can weigh you down and hinder personal growth. This year, let’s begin by prioritising emotional clarity and making space for positive transformation through breathwork.

Breathwork is an ancient practice that uses intentional breathing techniques to calm the mind, reduce stress, and release pent-up emotions. Below, we will explore breathwork exercises designed to help you release emotional baggage, enabling a fresh start for the year ahead.

The Power of Breath

The connection between your breath and emotions is profound and inseparable. When you experience emotions like stress, sadness, or anxiety, your breathing tends to become shallow and irregular as part of your body’s natural response to perceived threats. Conversely, you can positively influence your emotional state by consciously altering your breath patterns. This two-way relationship forms a vital mind-body connection.

Deep, slow breaths signal to your brain that there is no immediate threat, reducing stress hormone production, promoting relaxation, and activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which counteracts the stress response. Understanding this connection emphasizes the significance of breathwork as a potent tool for enhancing emotional well-being. Regular practice of these techniques will empower you to release emotional baggage and cultivate emotional clarity as you embark on a new year.

Breathwork Exercise 1: Deep Belly Breathing

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable space to sit or lie down.
  2. Close your eyes and place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise. Feel the breath filling your diaphragm and lungs, but keep your chest still.
  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth, allowing your abdomen to fall as you release the breath.
  5. Repeat this deep belly breathing for 5-10 minutes, focusing on the rise and fall of your abdomen.

This exercise helps calm your nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety while promoting emotional release.


Breathwork Exercise 2: Box Breathing

Box breathing is a simple yet effective technique to regain emotional balance and clarity.

  1. Sit or stand in a comfortable position.
  2. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four seconds.
  3. Hold your breath for four seconds.
  4. Exhale slowly and completely for four seconds.
  5. Pause for four seconds before beginning the next cycle.

Repeat this pattern for a few minutes, gradually increasing the duration if comfortable. Box breathing helps regulate emotions, improves focus, and relieves tension.

Breathwork Exercise 3: Emotional Release Breathwork

This breathwork exercise releases emotional baggage.

  1. Find a quiet and safe space.
  2. Take a few moments to identify an emotion or past experience you want to release.
  3. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to centre yourself.
  4. Begin to take quick, deep breaths in and out through your mouth, almost like a series of rapid “sighs.”
  5. As you continue this pattern, imagine the emotion or experience leaving your body with each exhale. Visualize it dissipating and losing its grip on you.
  6. After a few minutes, slow your breath and return to deep belly breathing for relaxation.

Emotional baggage can hold you back, affecting your mental and emotional well-being. However, with the power of breathwork, you can begin the year with a clear mind and heart. These breathwork exercises help you release emotions that no longer serve you and make space for positive transformation.

Remember that breathwork is a practice that requires patience and consistency. Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine can lead to profound emotional healing and clarity.

For more lifestyle and wellness tips, check out our blog. If you want to read about the differences between breathwork and meditation, click here and click here for breathwork and crystal pairings for chakra balancing. Remember to tag us in pictures of you practising this technique on Instagram @surrender_to_happiness. If you’d like to cement this practice into your daily rituals, look at our blog, ‘Introducing daily rituals into your life.’

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