Three Minutes to Stress Relief: A Deep Breathing Exercise
Here are the steps for the controlled breathing exercise:
- Sit upright in a comfortable position. Focus on your present state and existence (this is often termed being "mindful").
- Block out intrusive thoughts. You may close your eyes if you wish.
- Pay attention to your breathing. Inhale slowly through the nose, taking several seconds.
- Exhale through the mouth, trying to make the exhalation phase last twice as long as the inhalation.
- Continue this mindful breathing for 3-5 minutes.
You can either do the exercise quickly in stressful moments or, if you like, you can increase the practice to 15-20 minutes per day as a form of meditation. With regular practice, you can train your body to relax in stressful situations using this exercise.This exercise can also be effective in dealing with anxiety, panic attacks , stage fright, and fears (such as the fear of flying). Taking a restorative pause to focus on your breathing can also be a valuable anger management tool.
A common diaphragmatic breathing exercise is as follows:
- Sit or lie comfortably, with loose garments.
- Put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach.
- Slowly inhale through your nose or through pursed lips (to slow down the intake of breath).
- As you inhale, feel your stomach expand with your hand.
- Slowly exhale through pursed lips to regulate the release of air.
- Rest and repeat.
Another diaphragmatic breathing exercise for raising oxygen levels in the blood and the energy in the body is to take several negative breaths, immediately followed by an equal number of positive breaths. During negative breaths, you inhale, immediately exhale and then hold your breath for a short time. The emphasis is in keeping your lungs empty. Negative breaths reduce the oxygen in your blood. During positive breaths, you inhale, hold your breath, and then exhale. The emphasis is in keeping your lungs full. Positive breaths increase the oxygen in your blood.Though not always taught, continuing to breathe into the chest at the same time can provide an ever more "fulfilling" exercise. The goal is to have the entire torso move in & out when breathing, as if one is surrounded by an expanding and contracting inner tube.
Copy and paste this link for a video on simple techniques - This is one you can do at work or home.
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