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Take a Deep Breath

Updated on May 14, 2019
Hrefna profile image

I’m a Stress Relief Coach specializing in helping people who are dealing with the negative health effects of a long term stress and anxiety

Take a deep breath
Take a deep breath

Your breathing changes a lot about how you feel

Did you know that how you breathe changes a lot about how you feel? Breathing is one of the most important part in our lives and still most of us breath without giving any thought to how it happens and how we do it. Why should we care, it happens anyway without our interference. The truth is that we breath automatically and we get oxygen without thinking about it but if we learn to control our breathing better then we can both increase the energy that we have and we can also control more how we feel

Use deep belly breathing

When we are calm we breath much deeper and regularly then when we’re stressed and anxious. When we’re stressed our breath is most often shallow, irregular and fast. When we exercise regularly deep belly breathing then we can increase the oxygen that we get in each breath compared to shallow breathing. By breathing deep into our stomach we fill up our lungs with air and in that way we get more energy. If we are without energy in the middle of the day then often it’s enough to take a few deep breaths and we will feel much better and can continue with our daily tasks with more energy then before.

Notice how your belly moves

To begin to exercise deep belly breathing it is best to lay on your back and lay your hands on the stomach and relax every muscle. It can be good to close you eyes and then notice how your belly goes up when you breath in and how it goes down when you breath out. When our breath is shallow we use mostly our breast muscles and our shoulders to breath but when we breath with our stomach then we activate our diaphragm that causes our belly to move in and out.

Be ready to meet whatever comes up in your life
Be ready to meet whatever comes up in your life

Lower you stress and strain

Just beginning to be aware of your breathing and how you can use it to lessen your stress makes things better. By exercising deep breating and little by little using it more can make all the difference when we really need to relax more, like when something really stressful happens. Taking deep breaths in that kind of a situation really helps you to be calmer and more ready to meet whatever comes up in your life.

Food for thought

1. Are you aware of you breath? Do you breath deeply and slowly or do you have shallow and fast breath?

2. Have you noticed how you start to breath more shallow when you get stressed and anxious?

3. Have you tried to do some belly breathing and found how you can fill up your lungs and learn to control your breathing better?

4. Are you interested in exercising belly breathing every day for 10-20 minutes and see what happens? You’ll never know until you try.

A simple and effective breathing exercise

Lie down and make yourself comfortable. Now, put one hand on your upper chest, and one hand on your abdomen just below your rib cage. Relax the shoulders and hands. Focus on your breath and notice if is your chest or your abdomen that rises. It is the abdomen that should rise when you inhale and when you exhale it slowly flatten. The upper chest should be as still as possible.

Breath slowly and regularly. Do this a few times. Fill up your lungs and then exhale slowly and empty all air out of your lungs. You can try to count up to for example 5 when you breaths in, 3 when you hold your breath and then 5 again when you exhale. Little by little you can lengthen the time between your breaths. Feel how you can control your breath and how you fill your body with oxygen and energy. Now relax for a moment and pay attention to how you feel.

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    • Hrefna profile imageAUTHOR

      Hebba Gudmundsdottir 

      4 weeks ago from Iceland

      Thank you, it's good to know that this inspired you to do some breathing exercises. Good luck with you practice.

    • Hrefna profile imageAUTHOR

      Hebba Gudmundsdottir 

      4 weeks ago from Iceland

      Hi Lorna and thank you for your comment, I'm glad that you found it interesting and that you can use it in your yoga practice. I wish you all the best.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      5 weeks ago

      Hi Hrefna, This is such an interesting article and even though I practice Yoga I think I really need to concentrate on my breathing technique. Thank you for sharing.

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