Deep breathing can be powerful for stress relief. It can be done anywhere, by anyone, at any time – and may work wonders for the stressed-out folks among us. As silly as that may sound, natural, deep breathing is an acquired skill. If you take the time to learn how to do it correctly, you may be able to lessen your stress levels and become more focused. But it does take some practice.
Try this simple exercise to engage in some good-old belly breathing:
- Find a comfortable spot for resting. You can be sitting or lying down – it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you’re comfy.
- Close your eyes and place a hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
- Take a moment to breathe normally. Notice which hand rises first. Is it your stomach or your chest?
- If your chest rises and falls, take a few moments to engage your belly in your breathing.
- Count from one to five slowly in your head and you breath in and out.
- If you have trouble engaging your belly, try breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
- Continue to take deep breaths and concentrate on expanding your belly with each breath.
After several rounds of deep belly breathing, you will likely begin to feel more relaxed and less stressed. Good luck with this simple but important change!