There are tons of breathing exercises that can help you relax and manage your stress. This one focuses on extended, controlled breathing and counting.
As with any relaxation technique, the first step to this mini is to be aware that you are experiencing stress. Then, you can decide to take action. You can change your focus from your worries to this breathing exercise.
- When you do a breathing technique, make sure you are sitting or laying down.
- The counting part of this exercise is done silently, to yourself.
- Try not to force the breath in or out; try to just notice as it comes in, and let it go as it goes out. No need to push air out or suck it in. Try to be gentle.
- As you breath in, you will be counting from 1-5. That’s one count for each in-breath.
- As you breath out, you will be doubling the count from that inhalation.
Confused? Follow this guide:
Exhale–count “one, two”.
Inhale–count “one, two.”
Exhale–count “one, two, three, four.”
Now, reverse. On your next inhalation, count 1,2,3,4. On your next exhalation, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Continue until you are back down to Inhale-1; Exhale-1,2.
Remember that if your mind wanders (it will!) it’s okay. Just notice it, and say to yourself, “oh well.” and come back to your breathing and counting.