Deep Breathing to Relax the Mind & Body
Practice whenever you can, at least once a day. 5 minutes is a good amount of time to positively affect your physiology, decrease anxiety and improve mental state. Even one or two deep abdominal breaths can be helpful!
Although best learned sitting or lying down, any time you can consciously (& safely) breathe is an opportunity to practice deep breathing relaxation.
Deep abdominal breathing positively affects your mental state therefore, it may be especially useful when you are stressed out, tired, frustrated, or confused. Abdominal breathing can help you to relax, reset and refocus. Practice often so you can use this as a tool to aid with anxiety ridden and stressful situation.
To Get Started:
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor or lie down, comfortably. Put one hand on your upper chest, and the other on your abdomen, just under your ribcage. Feel yourself breathing and become aware of your breath rate. It may be helpful to close your eyes. Let the ambient sounds fade into the background. Focus on your breath…
- Take a deep breath, through your nose, feeling your abdomen rise as you breathe. Your upper hand should move very little, while your abdomen lifts your other hand. Imagine a feeling of warmth as the breath moves from your mouth, down your throat, into your lungs, and your diaphragm expands. Hold the breath for a count of four. Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of six.
- Inhale slowly, through your nose, to a count of four, feeling the warmth of your breath and your abdomen rising. Try to keep your chest relatively still. Hold the breath for four, then exhale slowly, through the mouth, for a count of six & repeat.
- Notice how your body feels differently. Are your shoulders more relaxed? Do your thoughts feel any different? Do you notice your heart rate slowing?
Rx: Repeat daily, for life