Breathing is one of the most essential parts of life. To breath is to live, and to control breathing is one way to help handle difficulty and relax in chaos. One of the things american culture culture suffers from is the inability to handle breathing appropriately.
Leaning how to breath is not as simple as it may seem. Even before you can remember, breathing is something that the body seemingly does naturally. Intentional breathing however is something that takes some practice and focus to execute properly. In this post we will discuss how to breath and find relaxation.
It is typically recommended that this exercise be done with you sitting in a comfortable position. (This may not be viable as many times when anxiety or stress hit, we are in situations where comfort is not a option.) If getting comfortable is not an option then try to relax your body as much as you can. Focusing on letting go of the tension you are feeling as well as slowing down your mind so that the ruminating thoughts of the situation are not weighing you down.
- Start by taking a deep breath by in-hailing through your nose slowly count to 5
- Hold that breath for a second or two
- Slowly let out the breath by ex-hailing smoothly and consistently through your mouth.
- Repeat this inhale, holding, and exhaling of the breath while focusing the attention on the air entering your lungs and leaving through your mouth.
Increasing the time it takes to inhale, hold the breath, and exhale can lead to further relaxation. The ability to control breathing is a practice. It will take time to feel comfortable using this technique. Practicing the control of breathing in various contexts can lead to increased levels of mastery and confidence in reducing anxiety, stress, and increasing relaxation.
A helpful app that can be used in the training of breathing is “Breath to Relax”. (This is not the only app out on the market but a helpful one. There are many different kinds of apps that are designed to increase mindfulness and aid in anxiety reduction.) This app gives guidance on inhaling and exhaling as well as allows for music to be played and soothing pictures to be viewed during the session. This app is one that has proven effective in and out of the therapeutic realm.
Controlled breathing also has other benefits. For more of an in-depth article on breathing, check out an article on Psychology Today website. This article gives further education on the importance of breathing as well as discusses other positive aspects of how breathing can effect the human body and mind.
Above all, breathing is important to sustain life. The control of our breathing is what can be one of the most significant personal resources we have to reduce anxiety & stress, and relax the mind and body. The use of breathing does not require any tools, special rooms, helpers, or deep theoretical principles. Breathing is simple and with some practice it can have big impact on life.