Improper breathing can often contribute to feelings of anxiety, panic, or fatigue and can increase muscular tension, leading to headaches. Practicing deep breathing allows the mind and body to slow down and relax.
BREATHING TIP: 6 breaths per minute is ideal for practice. Inhale for 5 seconds. Exhale for 5 seconds. ____________________________________________________________________
Breathing Technique: If you are breathing specifically to relax or calm yourself it is important to breathe in through your nose, and out very slowly through your mouth.
Purse your lips and breathe out as though blowing through a straw. This will allow you to prolong your exhalation.
Lie on the floor and place one hand on the center of your chest and the other on your abdomen, right at the waistline. When you breathe in, notice whether your abdomen expands – if it does, you are breathing from your diaphragm. If your belly doesn’t move or moves less than your chest, you are breathing from your chest.
To shift from chest to abdominal breathing, make one or two full exhalations that push out the air from the bottom of your lungs – this creates a vacuum that will pull in a deep, diaphragmatic breath on your next inhalation. ____________________________________________________________________
Breathing more slowly, gently, and deeply helps to calm and relax and can also reduce tension and anxiety and improve concentration and memory. Shallow and fast breathing can contribute to anxiety, muscular tension, panic attacks, headaches, and fatigue. By practicing slow, deep breathing, your mind will calm down and your body will relax.
Diaphragmatic, or, abdominal breathing is one of the easiest ways to produce a relaxation response. Practice 10 or more minutes to learn the proper technique for deep relaxation. helping to reduce muscle tension and anxiety.
Throughout the day, frequently take a few slow, deep breaths or do a couple of minutes of diaphragmatic breathing, especially when feeling stressed.
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