Deep Breathing and More

Deep Breathing is a technique to improve relaxation regarding both a person’s physical and mental states. As a stress management tool, deep breathing is sometimes combined with another relaxation technique called Progressive Muscular Relaxation. Deep breathing is also an important part of Yoga, Meditation and Tai Chi.

The Benefits of Deep Breathing

When you breathe deeply, the air coming in through your nose fully fills your lungs, and the lower belly rises.

Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange, by trading incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. It also slows the heartbeat and lowers the blood pressure.

Practicing Breathing

First steps. Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down. First, take a normal breath. Then try a deep breath: Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand fully. Now breathe out slowly through your mouth (or your nose, if that feels more natural).

Creating a Routine

You may want to try several different relaxation techniques to see which one works best for you. And if your favorite approach fails to engage you, or you want some variety, you’ll have alternatives. You may also find the following tips helpful:

 

  • Choose a special place where you can sit (or lie down) comfortably and quietly.
  • Don’t try too hard because that may cause tension.
  • Don’t be too passive, either. Shift your focus to deeper, calmer rhythms.
  • Try to practice once or twice a day, always at the same time, in order to establish a habit.
  • Try to practice at least 10–20 minutes each day.

Try other stress reduction methods, such as:

Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!

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