What is deep breathing?
Deep breathing is a helpful technique for dealing with stress, tension, anxiety, and anger. It can be done practically anywhere. It is also called diaphragmatic breathing. (The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle extending across the bottom of the ribcage. The diaphragm separates the thoracic lung cavity from the abdominal cavity and performs an important function in respiration. By the way, a hiccup is an unintentional contraction of your diaphragm ). Any way, deep breathing helps in several ways:
It may be quite difficult to do this exercise in the middle of a stressful situation but please try-it is more than worth the effort. For example, when driving in heavy stop and go traffic after a long day, it may help to do this exercise while listening to calming, soothing music. But be careful, because you could relax to the point of sleepiness.
If a stressful, intense situation occurs while at work or home, between you and another person, do the exercise while they are talking. It gets better with practice and easier. You will be able to control yourself and respond in a calmer, less emotional tone of voice.
How do I do this exercise?
Repeat these deep breaths 10 times. You will notice how much more relaxed you feel after a very few minutes of controlled breathing.
Practice this exercise 5 times a day. The keyword is practice.
Other relaxation methods you may wish to consider are mental imaging and progressive muscle relaxation.
Marlene Griffin R. N.
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