How to Practice Deep Breathing Exercises

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Practice deep breathing exercises to relax.
Practice deep breathing exercises to relax. (Image: (c) Lynda Bernhardt)

Deep breathing exercises can be helpful in a number of ways. Deep breathing can calm a person who is feeling anxious or overwhelmed. It can help a person to feel more “present” in his own life, manage his stress and feel more relaxed throughout the day. Here is how to practice deep breathing exercises.

Recognize the purpose of practicing deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing is an effective and easy way to calm yourself down when you are feeling anxious or stressed out. It has the power to return your mind to the present moment and short-circuit the relentless mental chatter that keeps you focused on worrying about the future or stewing over the past.

Sit up straight as you prepare to do these exercises. Keep your backbone fully upright with your shoulders pulled back as you get into position.

Inhale slowly and deeply. Slowly fill your lungs with air. Think about how pure, fresh and cleansing this “new” air is for your body.

Focus on how your lungs feel as they fill with air. Notice how they expand. Pay attention to how your diaphragm moves to make room for more air in your lungs.

Exhale slowly. Release the air from your lungs until they are completely empty. Feel your lungs contracting as your expel all of the “old” air from your body.

Visualize your stress being released as you exhale. “See” all of your tension mixing into the air and the tension being released from your body.

Repeat these steps multiple times. As you do, notice how your body is beginning to relax and how you are starting to feel more present in your own skin.

Practice deep breathing exercises on a regular basis. Each time you find yourself becoming stressed out about your day, use these exercises to calm yourself back down. With practice, the process will take less and less time.

Tips & Warnings

  • For even better stress management, practice deep breathing exercises in tandem with yoga and meditation.

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