Breathing Techniques to Relax

by Mel on May 8, 2015

For many of us, relaxation means zoning out in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day. But this does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress. To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response.

BreatheYou can do this by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise, and yoga.

Fitting these activities into your life can help reduce everyday stress and boost your energy and mood. If that sounds like a daunting commitment, remember that many of these techniques can be incorporated into your existing daily schedule, and can be practiced anywhere!

The following breathing methods can be helpful for reducing anger, anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, muscular tension and stress.

The Proper Breathe

While breathing is a function most people take for granted, rarely is it practiced in a proper fashion. Before beginning any technique it is essential that you learn how to breathe properly and fully:

  • Lie down on a rug or blanket on the floor with your legs straight and slightly apart, your toes pointed comfortably outwards, arms at your sides not touching your body, your palms up, and your eyes closed. This is called a “relaxed body” position. Take time to relax your body and breathe freely.
  • It is best to breathe through your nose. Keep your mouth closed as you breathe.
  • As you breathe, your chest and abdomen should move together. If only the chest seems to rise and fall, your breathing is shallow and you are not making good use of the lower part of your lungs. As you inhale you should feel your abdomen rising; it is as if your stomach is filling with air. As you exhale, the abdomen comes back in, like a balloon releasing all of its air. This inhale and exhale process should continue comfortably and smoothly. The chest and abdomen should rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. The chest should move only slightly.

Deep and Relaxing Breathing

  • Lie down on a blanket or rug on the floor. Bend your knees and move your feet about eight inches apart, with your toes turned outward slightly. Make sure your spine is straight.
  • Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose into your abdomen to push up your hand as much as feels comfortable. Your chest should move only a little and only with your abdomen.
  • Continue step three until it becomes rhythmic and comfortable. Now smile slightly, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, making a quiet, breezy sound as you gently blow out. Your mouth, tongue and jaw will be relaxed. Take long, slow, deep breaths raising and lowering your abdomen. Hear the sound and feel the texture of breathing as you become more and more relaxed.
  • When you first begin this technique, do it for five minutes. When you become more comfortable with it, you may extend it up to 20 minutes.
  • Upon ending a session, stay still for a few minutes and try to keep the entire body relaxed.
  • The purpose of this technique is to develop a good, relaxing breathing method. It may be practiced anytime, especially during stressful situations.

The Relaxing Sigh

Sighing and yawning during the day are signs that you are not getting enough oxygen. A sigh releases a bit of tension and can be practiced at will as a means of relaxing.

  • Sit or stand up straight.
  • Sigh deeply, letting out a sound of deep relief as the air rushes out of your lungs.
  • Let new air come in naturally.
  • Repeat this procedure eight to twelve times whenever you feel the need for it, and experience the feeling of relaxation.

There is no single relaxation technique that is best for everyone. When choosing a relaxation technique, consider your specific needs, preferences, fitness level, and the way you tend to react to stress. The right relaxation technique is the one that resonates with you, fits your lifestyle, and is able to focus your mind and interrupt your everyday thoughts in order to elicit the relaxation response. In many cases, you may find that alternating or combining different techniques will keep you motivated and provide you with the best results.

Mel

Mel

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I always look forward to expressive my passions in life to others and helping people make lasting changes. I live a busy life like the rest of us with kids, work, and everything else that can get in the way. Making time for exercise, and making good decisions about what we eat can often be a challenge. We sometimes lack the motivation and momentum to make lasting changes in our lives. I've been fortunate enough to really get my life in order and have some simple strategies to help you do the same. Mel's favorite product is Garcinia Cambogia 1234
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