Breathing exercises are effective to release stress. Usually, we take our breathing for granted, but, with practice on these techniques, you will have a great tool to use. Try these 2 breathing techniques to release tension.
First, I want you to lie on the floor and put one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen. Take a deep breath in and then breathe out. Did the hand on your abdomen rise and expand the most? If not, you are doing shallow breathing. To use breathing effectively, you need to practice abdominal breathing.
Practice abdominal breathing for a few minutes. Imagine that your abdomen is a balloon and that as you inhale you are filling it up with air. Keep your hands on your chest and abdomen to see where the expansion is. Now that you can do deep breathing, practice the following techniques.
Breathing for Letting Go of Tension
1. Inhale and say to yourself, “Breath in.”
2. Hold your breath a moment before you exhale.
3. Exhale slowly and deeply as you say to yourself, “Relax.”
4. As you hold your breath for a moment, notice any parts of your body that you are holding tension. When you exhale, feel the tension leave your body.
5. Practice this for five to twenty minutes at a time.
6. Practice it in non-stressful situations a few times a day. When you are comfortable with the technique, practice it in stressful situations.
1. Exhale first. Do this at the first sign of the “What ifs” or panic. This is to open up your lungs so you will have room for a good deep breath.
2. When you are first practicing this, lie on your back with one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest. Exhale first, and then breathe in through your nose counting, “one….two….three.” Pause a second and then breathe out though your mouth counting, “one…two…three…four.” Make sure your exhalation is longer than your inhalation.
3. If you mind wanders, try to keep it on the breath.