Breathing exercises that can help you relax

03-04-2018

Whenever you feel stressed or anxious you can focus on your breath to help calm yourself down.

One technique that is particularly helpful is diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing.

Follow these steps below and try it out for yourself!

1.Find a moment to settle into a comfortable sitting position (or try lying down if that feels better).

2.Try and sit upright (but don’t force it). Sitting in a chair with a straight back can help support your posture.

3.Close your eyes (or find a place to softly rest your gaze).

4.Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly (lower abdomen).

5.Try to focus on your breath and observe the way it flows in and out of your body.

6.When your breathe in, let your belly rise as your body fills with air.

7.When your breathe out, let the belly fall as the air leaves your body.

8.Repeat this cycle for approximately 5 deep (in and out) breaths. 

9.If your mind wanders, don’t worry that is perfectly ok! Acknowledge where your thoughts have led you, but then gently try and bring your attention back to your breath.

10.If it helps, try to follow along with the animation below: breath in when the figure expands and gets bigger and breath out when the figure gets smaller.




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Author

Joanneke Weerdmeester

Researcher, psychologist, PhD-candidate, gamer, language enthusiast and lover of all things geeky.

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