Deep Breathing Exercises
Do you ever just need a minute to yourself so you can relax? Do you ever let out a big sigh after experiencing some stress or anxiety? Do you ever notice how your breathing is fast when you’re nervous right before or during a test?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you might want to try deep breathing exercises to help you relax. Read on to learn more about deep breathing and about the positive affects it can have on your body.
What are deep breathing exercises?
Deep breathing is a type of exercise that makes you aware of your breathing so when you inhale (take in air) through your nose, the breath is long and slow so and the air completely fills your lungs. The second part of the exercise is to blow out all of the air from your lungs, nice and slow. You should see your lower belly rise when you breathe in and lower when you breathe out.
What affects breathing?
Stress, anxiety, anger, fear and other emotions can cause your breathing to become faster than normal. When you are happy and content your breathing is slower, and more regular.
How do I do deep breathing exercises?
Something simple to do is: Close your eyes for a few minutes and imagine yourself on a beach or another place you find relaxing. Then, take a deep breath through your nose and count to ten. Release the breath through your mouth until you have pushed all the air out. Then repeat the exercise.
Important things to remember when practicing deep breathing exercises:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can sit or lie down where no one will bother you for a while.
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position with your back straight.
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a relaxing place.
- Take a couple of “cleansing breaths” (breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth) and find a comfortable position, either sitting or standing.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth using your abdominal muscles so your diaphragm can flex and contract.
- Inhale slowly. This should take about 10 seconds. (You can count in your head to 10) so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Now, exhale slowly for another 10 seconds.
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