Practice Soft Belly Breathing

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This is an exercise that helps to expand the base of your lungs, which helps bring extra oxygen to your brain.  It lowers anxiety and induces greater relaxation.  Over time this technique has been proven to lower blood pressure, slow heart rate, enable deeper breathing and induce a state of calmness. 

  • Sit up in a chair or bed, as erect as possible.  Close your eyes.

  • Breathe deeply, in through your nose, and out through your mouth.  Repeat. 

  • Now, imagine your belly is soft.  This will allow you to deepen your breath and improve the exchange of oxygen. As you breathe in you want your belly (more accurately, your diaphragm) to expand with air.  As you breathe out you want your belly to contract and flatten. 

  • Once this pattern is established, concentrate on breathing in (with your belly still expanding) to a count of five seconds, hold your breath for a count of five seconds, and then release (with your belly contracting) to a count of five seconds. 

  • Repeat for five minutes in a quiet surrounding or while listening to soft music. 

If you are under a lot of stress, try to perform this routine 2 or 3 times a day to help relaxation come your way.  If you have trouble falling asleep at night, perform this routine right before bedtime.  Children can benefit greatly from this exercise as well.  

Until next time, Be Well.