Deep breathing is a powerful relaxation technique. It is easy to learn, can be practiced anywhere and is the cornerstone of many other relaxation practices. The key to deep breathing is “belly breathing”, taking a full cleansing breath from the abdomen. The next time you are feeling anxious or stressed give the following a try.
- Sit comfortably in a quiet place with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest.
- Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should hardly move. If this is difficult for you try arching your back a little.
- Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth.
Practice this daily for 10 to 15 minutes as well as when you feel stressed. Regular practice of techniques like this that activate the relaxation response will reduce everyday stress levels and increase feelings of serenity and well-being.