10 Breathing Exercises To Help Lower Blood Pressure

By Bridget Reed
Medically Reviewed by:

Heidi Wright, BSN, RN, PCCN, and Certified Master Herbalist

10 Breathing Exercises To Help Lower Blood Pressure

January 17, 2024

Stress and anxiety are commonplace in some of our daily lives, often silently elevating our blood pressure to unhealthy levels — but breathing exercises are a simple yet powerful tool at our disposal. 

These techniques offer a moment of calm in the midst of chaos and can also effectively keep our blood pressure levels in check. In this article, we will guide you through the art of using breath to relax and positively influence your blood pressure, leading to a healthier, more balanced life.

What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. It is one of the vital signs indicating the health and well-being of our circulatory system. Measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), it is expressed in systolic and diastolic numbers

Systolic pressure, the higher number, measures the force when the heart beats, while diastolic pressure, the lower number, measures the force when the heart is at rest. A normal blood pressure reading is typically below 120/80 mmHg. 

Understanding these readings is important as they are key indicators of how well our heart and arteries are functioning. Regular monitoring helps in early detection and management of any deviations from the healthy range.

What Are the Signs of Unhealthy Blood Pressure?

Unhealthy blood pressure, whether high or low, often goes unnoticed due to its subtle or non-existent symptoms. However, certain signs can signal an underlying issue: 

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Generally speaking, high blood pressure can manifest in several ways:

  • Persistent Headaches: Frequent headaches can be a sign of elevated blood pressure.
  • Blurred Vision: Hypertension can affect your vision, causing blurriness or visual disturbances.
  • Shortness of Breath: Experiencing difficulty breathing, especially during physical activities, can be related to high blood pressure.
  • Chest Discomfort: Feelings of pressure or chest pain can indicate hypertension.
  • Irregular Heartbeats: A rapid or irregular heartbeat can be a symptom of high blood pressure.

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension):

Low blood pressure can also lead to potential symptoms, like:

  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: Feeling dizzy, especially upon standing up, can be a sign of low blood pressure.
  • Fainting: Hypotension can lead to fainting spells, particularly in severe cases.
  • Nausea: Feeling nauseous or unwell can accompany low blood pressure.
  • Exhaustion: Persistent tiredness may be related to low blood pressure, especially if it's sudden or unexplained.
  • Lack of Concentration: Difficulty focusing or confusion can occur with hypotension.

Paying attention to these signs and consulting a healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and management is crucial. Monitoring your blood pressure and recognizing these symptoms can be key to maintaining your overall health and well-being.

What Are Some Breathing Exercises To Lower Blood Pressure?

Incorporating breathing exercises into your daily routine can be a transformative approach to managing blood pressure. These exercises support relaxation and help manage stress, which can indirectly impact blood pressure levels. 

Let's explore some effective breathing techniques that you can easily incorporate into your day for better heart health.

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Sit comfortably or lie down. Place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest. Inhale deeply through your nose, feeling your diaphragm rise. Exhale slowly through your mouth.

This exercise enhances oxygen exchange and encourages full engagement of the diaphragm, encouraging relaxation and the reduction of stress.

2. 4-7-8 Breathing

Inhale quietly through your nose for four seconds. Hold your breath for seven seconds. Exhale completely through your mouth for eight seconds.

Known for its calming effect, this technique can help lower heart rate and blood pressure, which is especially useful before bedtime.

3. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama)

Sit in a comfortable position. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril. Close your left nostril with your finger, open the right nostril, and exhale. Reverse the process.

This ancient practice balances the body's systems and is particularly effective in calming the mind and regulating heart rate.

4. Progressive Relaxation Breathing

Inhale deeply and tense a specific muscle group (like your hands). Hold for a few seconds then exhale and release the tension. Move through different muscle groups in your body.

It combines deep breathing with progressive muscle relaxation, helping to release physical and mental tension, which may lower blood pressure.

5. Resonance Breathing

Inhale for five seconds, then exhale for five seconds. Establish a rhythmic pattern of breathing at this pace.

Resonance breathing is known to bring the heart, lungs, and blood pressure into a state of coherence, where they operate more efficiently.

6. Counting Breaths

Breathe in deeply and count to five, then exhale slowly while counting to five again. Gradually increase the count as you get more comfortable.

Counting while breathing helps maintain a slow, steady rhythm, which may lower blood pressure by encouraging relaxation.

7. Yoga Breathing (Pranayama)

Techniques like Ujjayi or Kapalabhati involve controlled breathing patterns, often synchronized with yoga poses.

These practices help bolster our defenses against stress and nervousness, potentially providing support in blood pressure management.

8. Humming Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama):

Close your ears with your thumbs, place your fingers over your eyes, take a deep breath in, and hum like a bee while exhaling.

This technique is known to instantly calm the mind and lower heart rate, thus potentially helping in lowering blood pressure.

9. Sitali Breath

Curl your tongue into a tube (or purse your lips if you can’t curl your tongue), inhale through the mouth, and exhale through the nose.

Sitali breath is cooling and calming, it helps to relax the body and mind and can support the reduction of high blood pressure, especially in stressful situations.

10. Bellows Breath (Bhastrika)

Sit in a comfortable position, take quick, deep breaths in and out through the nose, keeping the mouth closed.

This vigorous breathing exercise increases oxygen flow and can energize the body. It’s also believed to improve the functioning of the heart and, consequently, can help in managing blood pressure levels.

How To Enhance Your Breathing Practices With Lifestyle Tips

As you integrate these breathing exercises into your daily routine, consider complementing them with lifestyle habits that support a heart-healthy life. 

At Herbaly, we believe in a holistic approach to wellness, where small, daily choices add up to significant health benefits. Let's explore a few tips to enhance your journey towards better heart health.

Savor a Cup of Heart Functional Tea

While you're focusing on your breathing practices, a warm cup of tea can be a wonderful addition. Our Heart Functional Tea, crafted with soothing ingredients, isn't just for your taste buds — it's a gentle source of support for your heart. 

Each sip offers a blend of natural elements designed to support and maintain heart health. Enjoy it as a peaceful break in your day, creating an atmosphere of relaxation that complements your breathing exercises.

Incorporate Turmeric into Your Diet

Turmeric is a golden gem in natural wellness. Its soothing properties are well-recognized, making it an excellent addition to your diet. 

For a more concentrated and convenient option, our Turmeric Complete Plus CoQ10 Capsules blend the benefits of turmeric with CoQ10, providing powerful support for your heart. These capsules are an easy way to ensure you’re receiving the supportive benefits of turmeric daily alongside your breathing routines.

Regular Physical Activity

Exercise is a key player in heart health. It doesn't have to be intense — even a brisk walk or a gentle yoga session can balance your heart rate and blood pressure. Combine this with your breathing exercises to encourage optimal wellness.

Mindful Eating

Pay attention to what you eat. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants contribute to a heart-healthy diet. Consider incorporating nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and berries into your meals. Mindful eating also means savoring your food, which can be a form of meditation in itself. “If you’ve been prescribed a low sodium diet because of high blood pressure, utilize herbs and spices as substitutes to bring rich and appealing flavors to your foods,” highlights Heidi Wright, Registered Nurse and Certified Herbalist. 

Adequate Sleep

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep — it’s the time when your body repairs itself. Creating a bedtime routine that includes calming breathing exercises can help achieve restful sleep, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is important for overall health, including maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. It helps in the proper functioning of your body and keeps you feeling energetic.

The Bottom Line

At Herbaly, we believe in empowering you with natural, accessible tools to support your well-being. Breathing exercises and mindful lifestyle choices are a testament to the power of simple, daily practices in managing blood pressure. 

Remember, every deep breath you take is a step towards a more balanced state of health. Our carefully crafted Functional Teas and Capsules are here to accompany you, offering a blend of nature's best to support your heart and overall wellness. 

Embrace these practices, and witness the transformation in your health and life — because at Herbaly, your wellness is our passion. Shop our collection to invest in your wellness.


What Is Blood Pressure? | Cleveland Clinic

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings | American Heart Association

Breathing exercises to lower your blood pressure | Harvard Health

Why High Blood Pressure is a "Silent Killer" | American Heart Association

What Happens When You Sleep: The Science of Sleep | Sleep Foundation

FOLLOW US @Herbaly