Deep Breathing

Do you ever feel like there is too much to do in a day? Or that you have no time for yourself? Do you ever feel anxious or stressed? Life can get so busy that we forget to take time for ourselves. Sometimes taking care of ourselves can feel like it requires too much time. Additionally, anxiety and stress can feel like very challenging emotions to deal with.

One simple thing that we can all do more of is deep breathing. We all are constantly breathing in and out. However, we tend to take shallower and shorter breaths. Deep breathing requires us to slow down and consciously think about breathing in and out.

Here are some tips to practice deep breathing:

Start in either a seated position or lay down. If you have the ability to lay down it is often easier when starting the practice of deep breathing.

Once you are in a comfortable position close your eyes and place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest.

Take a deep breath in and as you do so feel your hand on your belly rise.

Then exhale and feel your hand on your belly lower.

In the beginning, you may feel your hand on your chest rising and falling more than your hand on your belly. As you continue to take deep breaths focus on expanding and contracting your belly. The goal is to have your hand on your belly moving more than your hand on your chest.

As you become more comfortable with breathing from your belly you can also count the time of your inhales and exhales. For example, inhale for five seconds and exhale for five seconds.

Deep breathing may seem like such a simple thing but it has been shown to help relax our bodies and our brain. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious try some deep breathing.

By: Anisha Patel

“Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief.” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-relief-breathing-techniques. Accessed 4 July 2021.

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The Social and Health Research Center

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