To learn deep breathing relaxation, it is helpful to practice in non-stressful situations so the technique is available to you during stressful times.
There are many breathing exercises. Elements that are common to most of them are:
- Step 1. In a quiet environment, sit in a comfortable position with your lower back pressed against the back of the chair, both feet flat on the ground and your hands resting quietly in your lap.
- Step 2. Close your eyes.
- Step 3. To the count of 4, fill your body with life-sustaining air by breathing in through your nose, slowly and deeply, until your stomach and lungs expand to capacity.
- Step 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
- Step 5. Release the air: either in one short forceful breath, or a long one. Release the stress with the air.
- Step 6. Repeat 3 -- 5 times.
One way to do a deep breathing exercise is:
- Stop what you are doing.
- Move to a quiet place.
- Close your eyes.
- Breath deeply from your diaphragm.
- Inhale slowly through your nose to the count of 4.
- Exhale through your mouth to the count of 4
- Rest doing nothing for a count of 4.
- Focus either on your breathing or the counting.
- Repeat for approximately 5 minutes.
- The key is the breathing and the relaxation rather than the amount of time.
An alternative breathing exercise is "belly breathing"
- In a quiet place, sit quietly.
- Breath slowly and deeply - so deeply that your belly moves up and down with each breath.
- Watch your belly rise and fall.
- Let go of thoughts as they come in. Keep in mind that thoughts are self generated - and are just that: thoughts. You may not be able to prevent them from coming in, but you can change them as they appear.
Another alternative is to combine the words "calm down" with breathing. For example:
Step 1. Close your eyes.
Step 2. Take in a deep breath while thinking about the word "calm"
Step 3. Exhale while thinking the word "down"
Step 4. Repeat 3 - 5 times.