We all hear how important deep breathing techniques are in combating stress and anxiety. But what exactly does deep breathing mean and how do you do it properly?
Deep breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing, involves breathing from your diaphragm rather than shallow breathing from your chest. To receive the most benefit from deep breathing techniques when you are feeling anxious or stressed, you should practice deep breathing on a daily basis.
Taking ten minutes per day to practice and use deep breathing exercises will this help to reduce overall stress levels, it can help you to be prepared should you be in a situation where stress and anxiety become overwhelming.
- Lie down in a comfortable place. Ideally, you should lie on your back, with your knees bent and your back straight.
- Take a few moments to relax your muscles.
- Place your hands on your stomach so you can feel the rise and fall as you breathe.
- Your first breath should be an exhale as you want to empty your lungs before beginning.
- Inhale deeply through the nose, feeling your stomach rise as you fill your lungs.
- Exhale through your mouth, feeling your stomach deflate as you let the air out of your lungs.
Continue to breathe deeply for ten minutes, focusing on your body relaxing as you breathe.
If you practice this exercise on a daily basis, you will be ready to use this technique the next time stress hits.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.