Self-Care, Self-Developement

Take Control of Your Breathing

Deep breathing is one of those things you always hear people say but no one ever really knows how to do it.  I have heard a lot of people say that deep breathing Is corny … or that someone may say I’m not going to do that! That’s just weird.  Hey it’s 2020 didn’t you get the memo it’s perfectly fine to be corny and weird.

Think about the benefits that you might want to reap out of practicing deep breathing exercises.

Well I say give it a try. Let’s talk briefly about deep breathing . Deep Breathing is a relaxation technique performed by purposefully taking slow and long deep breaths. When practiced regularly  and effectively, deep breathing provides both immediate and long –term relief from stress anxiety. 

Sometimes when you experience an anxiety attack you may feel that you cannot breathe. You may feel our chest about to tighten and feel instantly uncomfortable.  During periods of anxiety, the body triggers a set of symptoms called the stress response. Breathing becomes shallow and rapid, heart rate increases, and muscles become tense. In opposition to the stress response is the relaxation response.  Breathing becomes deeper and slower, and the symptoms of anxiety fade away. Deep breathing triggers this response. 

Let’s give it a try now…

Sit back or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes, if you would like to do so.  When you’re learning, try placing a hand on your stomach.  If you breathe deeply enough, you should notice it rising and failing with each inhalation and exhalation.

  1. Inhale.. Breathe in slowly through your nose 4 seconds
  2. Pause, Hold the air in your lungs for 4 seconds. 
  3. Exhale, Breathe out slowly through your mouth for seconds. ( Pucker your lips, as if you are blowing through a straw, to slow your exhalation. 
  4. Repeat. Practice for at least 2 minutes, but preferably 5 to 10 minutes..

A few tips * If it isn’t working, slow down!  The most common mistake is breathing too fast. Time each step in your head, counting slowly as you do so. 

  • Counting out your breaths serves a second purpose. It takes your mind off the source of your anxiety.  Whenever you catch your mind wandering, simply return your focus to counting.
  • The times we use for each step are suggestions, and can be lengthened or decreased. 
  • Lengthen the time if it feels natural to do so, or decrease the time if you feel discomfort.       

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