Deep breathing for stress relief

on Wednesday, 08 September 2010. Posted in N21 Experts

 



Deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful, relaxation technique.

It’s easy to learn, can be practiced almost anywhere and provides a quick way to get your stress levels in check. All you really need is a few minutes and a place to stretch out.


The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel. So the next time you feel stressed, take a minute to slow down and breathe deeply:


Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.

Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.

Exhale through your mouth, blowing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.

Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
 

You can also try this second technique, visualisation for stress relief

When used as a relaxation technique, visualisation involves imagining a scene in which you feel at peace, free to let go of all tension and anxiety.

Choose whatever setting is most calming to you, whether a tropical beach, a favourite childhood spot, or a quiet meadow. You can do this visualisation exercise on your own, with a therapist’s help, or using an audio recording.


Close your eyes and let your worries drift away. Imagine your restful place. Picture it as vividly as you can—everything you can see, hear, smell, and feel. Guided imagery works best if you incorporate as many sensory details as possible. For example, if you are thinking about lying on a beach:


See the sun setting over the water
Hear the waves lapping on the shore
Smell the salty water
Feel the cool water on your bare feet
Taste the fresh, clean air


So treat yourself, set aside a couple of minutes each day to do the above exercises to alleviate any stresses or strains you may have in your life.

Bridgette Mansfield DipHyp GHR NGH GHSC
Bridgette Mansfield Hypnotherapy
07932 084 321
www.123relax.co.uk

Deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful, relaxation technique. It's easy to learn, can be practiced almost anywhere and provides a quick way to get your stress levels in check. All you really need is a few minutes and a place to stretch out.

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