relaxed breathing techniques | Terezia Farkas | Beliefnet | depression help

Relaxed breathing can help you calm anxiety and fear, and put you into a more positive mental state. Anxiety and fear stiffen muscles, getting your body ready for fight or flight. But when there’s no real danger or threat present, anxiety and fear only hurt your physical and mental well being. How can you calm down muscles and relax your mind?

Relaxed breathing techniques

There are several techniques to help relax the muscles around your lungs. Chest muscles help lungs move by expanding and contracting the ribcage. Your chest muscle automatically contracts when you get tense. That ‘tightening of the chest’ feeling means air is being squeezed out of your lungs.

Gentle stretching and deep breathing relax chest muscles. As your lungs expand, more oxygen gets into your body. This fresh, oxygenated blood is pumped throughout your system, helping all your tense muscles relax.

Smell the roses, blow out candles

In this exercise, you pretend you’re smelling a flower and blowing out candles.

Take a long breath through your nose, like you do when you smell a flower.

Then slowly release that breath like you do when you’re blowing out a candle.

Repeat as necessary.

Stretch that ribcage and spine

Start with an overhead arm stretch. Clasp hands in back and lift to fully open the chest area

Inhale through the nose to the count of 3.

Breath slowly and in a relaxed manner. Exhale to the count of 4.

Upper chest breathing

Concentrate on filling the upper chest area with your breath. Place your hands on the chest area to focus on this particular area.

Abdominal breathing

Concentrate on filling the lower lungs with your breath and observe the abdomen rise and fall. Place your hands there to confirm expansion.

Lateral chest breathing  

Concentrate on expanding your lower ribs with each breath. Place your hands on each side to help focus your attention to this area.

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