Physical – Activity: Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing has been show to be beneficial in many ways. When we practice deep breathing, we can lower blood pressure, improve heart rate and sleep, lower stress, and feel calmer and improve ability to handle emotions.
Benefits of Deep Breathing:
- infographic at emmasepella.com
- infographic at Huffington Post
via GIPHY or Breathing Bubbles playlist at Youtube
If you have a smartphone or tablet, try the Breath2Relax app from health.mil. It includes a demonstration, stress rating, and cycles for deep breathing.
Try the Breath Awareness Meditation at Meditation Oasis or 6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 minutes or less at Greatist.com.
Practice Deep Breathing using the diaphragm. Count to five while inhaling through the nose, then count to five while exhaling through pursed lips. If possible, place a hand between navel and ribcage to feel the abdomen rise with the diaphragm. It can be helpful to imagine a flower that you sniff as you inhale and blow the petals as you exhale.
To remind yourself to breathe deeply throughout the day, you can use an hourly timer like the Blip Blip app for Android. Or make a golf stroke counter with 10 beads, and move a bead each time you focus on taking 10 deep breaths. They can be hooked onto key chains or belt loops, or used as a bracelet.
I will take 10 deep breaths at least 10 times a day this week, when the hour changes. I will use a timer to remind me, and keep track with a golf stroke bead counter every day for one week.
- Audio online relaxation exercises
- Relaxation recordings (mp3s) at KU’s Self-Help Resources
- Breathing exercises at WebMD
- Relaxation Techniques from Helpguide.org
This is one of the weekly activities for a Year of Personal Development.
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