A Deep Breathing Exercise to Promote Relaxation

This deep breathing exercise is an easy relaxation technique that releases tension and promotes your powers to focus.

Next time you notice yourself getting anxious or stressed, take note of your breathing.

When stressed or anxious, most people tend to breathe shallowly from the chest or hold their breath.

This limits oxygen intake and further increases stress in your body.

Increasing stress leads to more shallow breathing, further perpetuating the cycle of increasing stress.

This deep breathing technique short-circuits this stress cycle.

I often recommend doing this breathing exercise as a stand-alone strategy or combined with other stress management techniques.

Breathing exercises are often recommended in stress magazines, on the Net, and by stress management experts because they:

    reverse the stress response and avoid chronic stress

  • are simple and effective
  • can be done just about anywhere
  • are often effective at short-circuiting stress and allowing you to remain calm.

Deep breathing technique: Breath counting

This deep breathing technique is simple and effective. It promotes relaxation and your powers of concentration.

  1. Sit or lie down
  2. Use normal diaphragmatic breathing
  3. Concentrate on the breath filling the lungs as you inhale. Repeat the word "in" as you inhale. As you exhale repeat the word "out"
  4. Repeat until you become focused on the breath
  5. Now each time you breathe out count the breaths
  6. When you get to ten, start at one again
  7. Sit quietly and concentrate on doing this for five cycles
  8. If you notice your thoughts are wandering bring your thoughts back to the counting of the breath.
  9. This deep breathing technique is an effective relaxation exercise and can play a part in any person's stress management arsenal.

    Other deep breathing exercises include:

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