Simple Deep Breathing Exercises To Relieve Stress
When we are stressed, we likely take shallow breaths with a rapid breathing rate. Deep breathing focuses on deep slow breathing to relieve stress, promote relaxation, overcome anxiety and depression.
Deep breathing benefits:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Improve the metabolism
- Improve the circulatory system
- Improve the brain and nervous system
- Calm the mind
- Increase energy levels
- Improve endurance especially in swimming
How to practice Deep Breathing
- Lie down or sit comfortably in a quiet place, close your eyes and relax your abdomen.
- Imagine that there is a deflated balloon in your abdomen.
- Stay relaxed through the whole exercise, keeping your shoulders down and relaxed.
- Breathe in slowly through your nostrils to the count of 4, visualise the balloon filling and pushing your abdomen out.
- Hold your breath for a count of 6, keeping the balloon full but stay relaxed.
- Slowly to a count of 8, breathe through your nose. Allow your shoulders to relax and drop as you breathe out. See if you can let a little more air out of the balloon and then repeat the cycle 4 more times or continue for 10 – 15 minutes.
- If you have problems visualising the balloon, just use the counting but keep your abdomen relaxed. As your practice everyday, it will be easier to slow down.
- When you first practice deep breathing, start with 4:6:8 (breathe in, hold your breath, breathe out) and slowly increase it to 8:12:16 and 12:18:24 if you can.
- Once you have practised deep breathing a few times, you can use it when you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.
Photo credit: http://www.beautyepic.com/deep-breathing-benefits/
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