Deep Breathing and Relaxation Technique

happyfeetmama By happyfeetmama, 24th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Wellness

Life is hectic but give yourself 15-20 minutes and try this - a deep breathing technique that helps you through anxiety attack, panic attack and stressful days in your life.

Take a Deep Breath (I mean literally)!

Life has been a bit stressful lately and I feel like I am drowning in anxiety at times. I am sure a lot of you have moments like this and I want to share a relaxation technique that I learned from a physical therapist (I can't believe i didn't know about this in the first 30 years of my life). It helps if you can't sleep or when you have those anxiety and panic attacks. The main thing to master here is "Deep Breathing" (or belly breathing) and if you do yoga, you may be pretty familiar with this already but it took me a while to master this technique.

Deep breathing is breathing deeply from the abdomen, rather than your upper chest (which produces shallow breaths). When you inhale, your diaphragm should drop down, enabling your lungs to expand and to be filled with air, your belly should expand and bulge outward. An easier way to tell if you are doing it right is to place one hand on your chest, one hand on your belly. As you inhale, the hand on your chest should not rise much but the hand on your belly should rise. Breathe slow and deep into the lower abdomen. Then slowly exhale (through your mouth or nose) your diaphragm should move up, pushing out the air. The hand on belly should move in but the hand of your chest would not move much. Take it slowly. Do not rush the breath. Breathe and and breathe out and as the breathing cycle continues, your breath should be slower and deeper each time, do it until you feel calm and relaxed.

For full/deeper relaxation, do the following:

1. Turn off all external stimuli (turn off the light, your phone, your TV) and dress comfortably. Lie down on your back (for extra relaxation, try aromatherapy, choose a soothing and relaxing essential oil like lavender )
2. Close your eyes. Do deep breathing for about 2-3 minutes (or as long as you need) until the breaths are deep and you can breathe deep into your lower abdomen, until you feel calm and relaxed.
3. Now we will slowly release tension from each part of your body starting from your toes. Focus on your right toes, keep breathing deeply and imagine air flowing into your right toes, relaxing all the little muscles there. Do it for 2 minutes or until you feel that all your right toes are fully relaxed
4. Now repeat the the deep breathing exercises and focus on one part of the body at a time following this sequence:
left toes, right foot, left foot, right ankle, left ankle, right calf, left calf, right thigh, left thigh, right hip, left hip.
5. Then moving onto your torso: Your lower abdomen, lower back, upper back, your chest, shoulders. Breath deeply into each area. Take your time and do not rush the breath.
6. Then your right fingers, left fingers, right wrist, left wrist, right forearm, left forearm, right elbow, left elbow, right upper arm, left upper arm, shoulders. Now moving onto your neck and different regions on your face (your throat, your chin, your mouth, your cheeks, your eyes, your temples) and go onto your scalp, until you are fully relaxed.
7. Now be still and enjoy the new relaxed state of your body. Take a couple minutes to complete this exercise and slowly open your eyes or if you are like me, you might have fallen asleep by this time.

sources:
www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm
www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/May/Take-a-deep-breath

Originally published on Bubblews: http://www.bubblews.com/news/763852-deep-breathing-and-relaxation-technique

Copyright 2013 Katherine Yeung
All Rights Reserved

Tags

Abdominal Breathing, Belly Breathing, Deep Breathing, Diaphragmatic Breathing, Relax, Relaxation, Stress, Yoga

Meet the author

author avatar happyfeetmama
A work-from-home mom of a super-active, super-clingy toddler. Currently living in North Carolina, USA.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
24th Jul 2013 (#)

I really love great views and I enjoy myself reading your posts.

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author avatar happyfeetmama
24th Jul 2013 (#)

@janethwayne wow, I didn't know my first page has been accepted already. Thanks for telling me about this site! Let me try this out and see how it goes =)

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author avatar AmandaT
25th Jul 2013 (#)

Deep breathing has been a huge help in dealing with stress. I have an anxiety disorder and I was able to get off of medication thanks to learning some relaxation techniques like this.

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author avatar Grumpybear
25th Jul 2013 (#)

I am going to use these techniques. Ty. :)

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