Practice It: Deep Conscious Breathing Exercise

Friday, November 30, 2012

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  1. Find a comfortable and quiet place to sit or lie down. If this is not possible, close your eyes and imagine yourself somewhere relaxing such as lying on the beach listening to ocean waves.

  2. Close and relax your eyes and relax your facial muscles, jaw, neck and shoulders. Gently place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly button.

  3. As you breathe in, allow the breath to expand the body including the belly, chest, and lungs. As you breathe out, gently press your hands against the chest and belly a bit more to encourage full release of the breath.

  4. Focus on developing a steady breathing rhythm by making the inhale and exhale equal in length. Silently repeat to yourself, “Breathing in” while inhaling and “Breathing out” while exhaling.

  5. Be patient with the process. With practice, you can do this more easily and might not even need to place your hands on your belly and chest.

No time to sit and breathe? No problem; take your breathing practice with you! Deep conscious breathing can also be done with the eyes open wherever you happen to be—simply pause and take two to three full deep breaths (inhale deeply and exhale completely). Taking a few moments when you start to feel stressed can keep stress in check.

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