In an already high-stress year, this week just might take the top spot. There’s no easy way to calm down fast, but taking time to do some guided breathing—with the help of handy breathing videos—might help you feel a little better.

For many of us, the months leading up to Election Day have been a source of long-term, slow-burning stress, Christiane Brems, Ph.D., a registered yoga teacher, clinical professor, and director of YogaX at Stanford Psychiatry, tells SELF. “This type of stress—sustained and low grade—can wreak havoc on our nervous system,” she says.

When your body is stressed, it releases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, kicking off your fight-flight-freeze response, Manuela Kogon, M.D., clinical associate professor at the Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine, tells SELF. But purposeful breathing can trigger your parasympathetic system, or the part of your autonomic nervous system that opposes the fight-flight-freeze response. As a result, it may help you feel rested and relaxed.

“Breathing is so powerful because unlike so many things in life, it’s something we have control over,” Rachel Allyn, Ph.D., a psychologist and yoga teacher based in Minneapolis, tells SELF. “By improving the way you breathe, you can shift your nervous system from the stress-response mode to a state of regulation and relaxation.”

And the good news is you don’t need to do an extensive breathing routine to get the benefits—and you don’t need to do them for a prolonged amount of time, either.

In fact, you can feel calming benefits in as little as 30 seconds of purposeful breathing exercises, Catherine Cook-Cottone, Ph.D. a licensed psychologist and registered yoga instructor based in Buffalo, tells SELF. “It doesn’t need to be complicated,” she says. “Orienting back to your own breath—just noticing it—is a powerful first step.”

For a little more structure, check out these 17 expert-approved breathing videos to help you get started.

1. Focus Meditation with Manoj Dias

9 minutes

This guided meditation cultivates focus and stability through concentration and mindfulness with breathing.

“I like this simple technique of paying attention to the gap between your exhale and inhale. It is so calming and the time floats by, leaving you feeling clear and aware when complete.” —Diane Malaspina, Ph.D, psychologist, yoga teacher and therapeutic specialist in Virginia Beach

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2. Lululemon Breathe in Calm with Gabby Bernstein

3 minutes

Gabby Bernstein, New York Times best-selling author and Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher, shares a calming five-count breathing technique.

“This three-minute video is great for a technique called ‘box breath,’ where we silently count to five on the inhale, hold the inhale to a count of five, exhale for five, and hold our breath for a count of five (before the next inhale to a count of five). Beyond the immediate sense of calm it brings, the box breath is easy to do anywhere and enhances feelings of relaxation and peace.” —Malaspina

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3. The First 4 Exercises of Mindful Breathing with Thich Nhat Hanh

4 minutes

Thich Nhat Hanh guides you through the first exercises of mindful breathing, from following inbreath and outbreath all the way through to generating the energy of mindfulness by being with your body.

“I love this video because Thich Nhat Nahn, one of the most profound teachers, makes the breathing exercises simple and approachable. With these practices, we find the magic in the simple act of breathing.” —Laurasia Mattingly, meditation and mindfulness teacher and founder of the Sit Society in Los Angeles

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4. Brief Mindful Breathing for Anxiety

: 4 minutes

Christiane Wolf, M.D., Ph.D., a mindfulness and insight meditation teacher at InsightLA, created this video to use breathing to help bring you out of worrying thoughts and into the present moment.

“I like this quick breathwork exercise because it’s easy for anyone to do and it only takes a couple minutes. This exercise is intentional about addressing anxiety specifically through mindful breathing.”—Mara Olney, yoga teacher and studio owner of LÜM Health Studio and virtual studio LÜMLIVE in Kansas City, Kansas

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5. Embodiment Meditation with Emma Stern

: 5 minutes

This mind-body meditation was designed to get your body in sync with your brain by focusing on your posture to help make you more aware of your breath.

“I like this five-minute breathing exercise because it is perfect for any busy person who needs to quickly connect to their breath and body to find calm. I recommend this video because the combination of your own supportive touch, combined with Emma’s gentle guided meditation voice, helps you quickly drop into a better headspace so you can find comfort in a moment of chaos or stress.”—Keisha Courtney, yoga instructor and founder of The Driven Yogi in Oakland, California

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6. Meditation Afraid To Brave with Michele Cary

: 13 minutes

This video takes you through a journey of breathwork and meditation to help you tamp down your fear.

“This meditation is great for when negative thoughts become too overpowering to bear. While sitting in stillness, Michele encourages you to examine your thoughts and emotions so you can not only recognize them, but also change them from a place of fearfulness into a place of empowerment. This mediation takes you on a transformational journey from feeling afraid to feeling brave so you can once again gain control of your mindset.”—Courtney

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7. We Are All One Meditation with Little Ocean Yoga

8 minutes

The first two minutes instruct you on meditation (with a combination of mantra and breath), and the actual meditation practice makes up the next five, before ending with a final closing.

“Lizzy Moore is an amazing educator of both yoga instructors and students. Her voice specifically in this video is perfect—gentle, calm and soothing. The mantra is just what we all need to hear right now, and allow it to sink in. She always has an easy-to-follow approach to breathing, meditation, and mindfulness practices. This is a nice, short, yet very effective video for reducing anxiousness and creating a feeling of calm and presence. Just love, love, love everything about the way this is delivered.” —Jade Wonzo, yoga instructor at Jade Light Yoga in Palm Beach, Florida

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8. Vagus Nerve: Breathing for Relaxation with Tune Up Fitness

7 minutes

This video takes you through three different kinds of relaxation techniques to stimulate your vagus nerve (the main component of your parasympathetic nervous system) using position, pressure and breath to help calm you.

“I love how Jill Miller presents why this technique works, explaining the science and anatomy involved in the relaxation response, and she gives a lot of options—seated, on your back, on your belly, to find how to relax and calm your nervous system using your breath. And you get to hug yourself or a pillow…amazing to calm down today.” —Natalia Tabilo, body positive yoga teacher and the founder of Yoga for All Bodies in San Francisco.

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9. 5-Minute Yoga/Meditation: Calm your anxiety with BeYoutifulLiving

5 minutes

: This short, guided breathing video will give you the time to center yourself.

“I love that this video invites you to relax using your breath along with some gentle yoga movements. Also, it is super accessible to all the bodies. It gives the option to practice seated on your mat or on a chair.”—Tabilo

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10. Calm Breathe Bubble

1 minute

: From the app Calm, this super short video will help you slow down and take a few soothing breaths.

“I love it because it has sounds of nature and a visual circle that expands and contracts to guide you with your breath—it’s a super short, but effective practice.” —Tabilo

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11. Breathing Tutorial by Wim Hof

10 minutes

: It’s a short breathing tutorial from “The Iceman” Wim Hof that will help you re-focus and center on your breathing.

“This video is very easy to follow, especially for those who are new to breathwork techniques.” —Alana Kessler, R.D., registered dietician and yoga instructor at Be Well by Alana Kessler in New York City.

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12. Alternate Nostril Breathing with Liz Arch

4 minutes

: A video that introduced alternate nostril breathing, which can activate your parasympathetic nervous system.

“The video is easy to follow, and this breathing technique helps with anxiety, while also calming the mind.” —Kessler

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13. Relax and Breathe: Do Nothing for 10 Minutes by The School of Self

10 minutes

Ten minutes of gorgeous visuals and music to help set the mood for a quick meditation that wants you to do nothing but breathe.

“I am a more visual person—when I’m given something to visualize and focus on, it helps me meditate easier. This video is easy to follow and is a great visual to picture in your head once you close your eyes to focus on your breathing. It’s a simple technique that allows people to take control of their breathing.” —Angelica Kutz, yoga instructor in College Station, Texas.

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14. Kundalini Yoga For Beginners: How to Do Breath of Fire Tutorial with BrettLarkinYoga

3 minutes

A quick tutorial on the “breath of fire,” a pranayama (regulated breathing) common in Kundalini yoga to help you feel more energized.

“This is one video I send to students when we are working on breath of fire. The video gives great clear, detailed instructions and helps many of my students practice at home.”—Kutz

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15. 10-Minute Mindful Breath Meditation by Savira Gupta

10 minutes

This guided audio meditation invites calm and patience while encouraging you to be present with each in and out breath.

“Savira has such a calming presence and her voice feels like a lovely, warm hug. She keeps her guided meditation simple and easily acceptable while also delivering all of the benefits of meditation—a perfection combination.” —Allyson Higgins-Halfpenny, registered yoga teacher at Half Pence Moon Yoga in New York City.

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16. Breath: Five Minutes Can Change Your Life with Stacey Schuerman

9 minutes

Stacey Schuerman leads this TedTalk, which includes a breathing exercise designed to reset, renew, and rejuvenate your energy.

“I recommend this video for beginners and those who are new to tuning into your breath. The video is less than 10 minutes, and the guided breathing exercise is five minutes. Tuning into the breath is something you can do anywhere without props or equipment. You are all you need.” —Stephanie Palomino, certified yoga teacher and co-owner of Radha Yoga in Santa Monica.

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17. 21 Days of Creating a Daily Meditation Habit with Caley Alyssa

8 minutes

This video is the start of a 21-day series on how to make meditation a daily habit in your life by bringing awareness to your breath as you focus on your inhale and exhale.

“Caley Alyssa’s knowledge and commitment to self-practice is inspiring. This video is just one of 21. If someone is ready to adapt and begin this breathing practice to their daily life, Caley has provided daily videos to guide you through the screen every day.”—Palomino

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Source: self.com