Deep Breathing Exercises for Stress Relief
How to do Deep Breathing
There are many ways to relieve stress and deep breathing exercises are one of the most simple and effective ways. Why? Because during stress, the body's stress response is activated and we tend to breath shallow. When we begin to breath slowly and deeply we activate the relaxation response and bring more peace to our bodies.
How to do deep breathing:
1. First, you need to find a quiet space.
2. Then, you need to set aside some quiet time - 20 minutes is good.
3. Lie down on a firm surface. Make sure you are warm and comfortable.
4. Close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing.
5. Put your right hand on your abdomen and your left hand on your chest.
6. Take a slow deep breath.
7. When you practice deep breathing - your right hand should move - your belly should be rising up with an inhale and falling down with an exhale.
8. Your left hand - the one on your chest - should stay still.
If you find that your chest (left hand) is rising up instead of your belly (right hand), you are not doing deep breathing exercises. You breathing is shallow and you are not getting the benefit of relaxation.
When this happens, that is OK. All you need is to slow down and focus your attention on your abdomen. Can you feel your breath in you abdomen now? Slow it down. Take longer on the inhale.
Move your breath consciously. With full attention on your breath.
How does it feel?
Where is your breath now?
If you feel your abdomen rising with each inhale and falling with each exhale, congratulations! you have just completed one of the deep breathing exercises.
You can also practice this technique while you are sitting down or standing up. In fact, the more you practice, the easier it will become to practice deep breathing anywhere and anytime.
Many people who practice conscious deep breathing have found that they can take couple of deep breaths when they find themselves in a stressful situation and they feel much calmer and more capable of handling the situation.
Deep breathing re-sets your nervous system. It calms down the stress response and encourages relaxation in the body.
To learn more about breathing techniques, visit Breathing Techniques for Anxiety.
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