Breathing relaxation techniques are helpful if you become anxious from illness. Anxiety produces rapid, shallow breathing with occasional shortness of breath and tension. Deep breathing exercises may counter this feeling. It could actually have a calming effect on your body. Breathing exercises are usually done by focusing on taking deep breaths for several seconds and then slowly exhaling. These exercises should be done while sitting in a quiet, peaceful room. Stress may also be controlled through a variety of meditation techniques. The goal is to develop a state of relaxation while remaining awake. In transcendental meditation, focusing on one sound or one word (mantra) while sitting quietly and breathing deeply may create this level of relaxation.