Deep, full, relaxed breathing is a powerful and profound way of releasing tension and controlling stress.
Try this breathing technique that is designed to help you relax and release tension. Once you have practiced this technique a few times each day over the course of one week, you will be able to call upon your skill of relaxed breathing anywhere at anytime.
You do not have to lie down to do this, the purpose of lying down in the early stages is just to be sure that you recognize when you are breathing deeply and that you train yourself to do so at will.
- To become aware of your pattern of breathing, try the script. You can read and/or record and then follow to help you learn to breathe deeply and fully in order to release tension and control your stress.
- Place one of your hands upon your stomach somewhere around your belly button area,
- Then place the other hand on your chest, right in the centre.
- And for the next few moments, as you sit still and breathe normally,
- Take note of the pattern of movement of your two hands.
- As you breathe in and breathe out, does one hand move more than the other?
- Does the lower hand move more than the upper hand?
- Does the upper hand move more than the lower hand?
- Do both hands move at about the same amount?
- If your upper hand moves more than your lower hand, you are breathing in a short and shallow fashion that will contribute to stress.
- If your lower hand moves more than your upper hand, you are breathing in a deep and full fashion and this will help manage your stress.
- As you take a few more moments to notice your breathing try to breathe in deeply and exhale fully so that you feel your lower hand moving inwards and outwards.
- Spend a few moments practicing this full deep relaxed breathing, using the movements of your hands as a sign that can tell you whether or not you are breathing in a relaxed fashion or a stressed fashion.
For more information the following resources may be helpful.
- Understanding and Finding Help for Anxiety. https://ontario.cmha.ca/documents/understanding-and-finding-help-for-anxiety/
- Youth Anxiety. https://youth.anxietycanada.com/
- Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario. http://www.anxietydisordersontario.ca/
- Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. https://www.mooddisorders.ca/faq/anxiety-and-mood-disorders
- Anxiety Disorders. Canadian Mental Health Association. https://cmha.bc.ca/documents/anxiety-disorders