Breathing Techniques for Relaxation

Breathing Techniques for Relaxation

Focused, abdominal breathing (belly breathing) 20 to 30 minutes each day is a great way to achieve a natural relaxation response. 

The point of focused breathing is to feel connected to your body, and be present and aware of the feeling of your worries drifting farther and farther away. 

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Breathing Techniques for Muscle Tension Relief
  1. Stand up straight and bend forward at the waist. Bend knees slightly, letting your arms hang limply, close to the floor.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply, and return to a standing position by slowly rolling your body up, lifting your head last.
  3. Exhale slowly as you return to your original position.
  4. Stretch your muscles a little, and repeat.

Try this breathing technique first thing in the morning. It can help minimize muscle tension throughout the entire day.

Breathing Techniques for Side Pain

Practicing deep “belly breathing” can reduce the stress on the supporting ligaments of the diaphragm and can help relieve side stitches. 

Belly breath: Lie down on the floor and place a hand on your belly. Breathe deeply. If you feel your hand rise and fall slightly with your breathing, you’re belly breathing. If your chest is moving instead of your stomach, you’re not breathing deeply enough, and need to adjust.  

  1. Sit up tall, and relax your shoulders. 
  2. Keep your mouth closed and inhale rapidly through your nose with quick, short breaths (exhale quickly as well). 
  3. Try doing that for about 10 seconds
  4. Take a 15-30 second break and breathe normally. Repeat several times.

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Breathing exercises

Breathing is at the core of ancient (and currently trendy) mindfulness practices, from yoga and tai chi to meditation.

However, studies suggest that breathing exercises alone, derived from those ancient yoga practices, can be good for the body and mind. 

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How it’s done:  Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4, all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Once you manage it, you can go up to a count of 6.

It calm the nervous system, increase focus and reduce stress.

When it works best: Anytime, anyplace — but this is one technique that’s especially effective before bed.

  1. Stand Up Straight - Good posture enables your body to breathe properly on its own
  2. Follow Your Breath - This focuses on the motions and movements of each inhale and exhale flowing through the body
  3. Abdominal Breathing - This is through breathing with your stomach and chest
  4. Rhythmic Breathing - Often recommended for anxiety patients
  5. Alternate Nostrils - This is breathing through the nostrils alternately in rhythm
  6. Think Reassuring Thoughts While Breathing - You inhale the good, exhale the bad.

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