You’re breathing right now — aren’t you?
Of course you are! But take a moment to really notice how you’re breathing. Areyou holding your breath a lot? Are your breaths shallow or rapid? Are you breathingthrough your nose, or your mouth?
Because deep breathing can help you relax and feel calmer, it can make you feelbetter when you’re stressed or anxious. When we checked in recently with one ofour customers, she told us that when she had tried it, she ended up feeling outof breath and light-headed. She wanted help.
Here’s what our Wellness Coach told her:
A good way to get started is to sit up straight but not rigid, or lie down comfortably.Put one hand on your belly and just breathe normally for about a minute. Now, takea long, slow, deep breath in through your nose, feeling your stomach rise with theinhale — and then exhale through your nose, letting your belly fall as your lungsempty out. Aim to inhale for 3 seconds with a slight pause at the top of your breathand then exhale for 3 seconds. Continue this pattern for a couple of minutes. Aftera few sessions, gradually go for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. Closing your eyes canhelp you focus more on keeping the pattern going.
Learning how to “surrender” to this breathing practice can take a little time. Noticeif you feel resistant to letting go (very common at first) and try not to rush throughthese few moments you’ve set aside.
It’s very important to breathe mostly through your nose — that keeps you from hyperventilatingand feeling dizzy. After you get the hang of it, try a few powerful exhales throughyour mouth about halfway through your session — still inhaling through your nose.These “cleansing breaths” release tension, stress, fatigue — and anxiety.
Be patient and kind to yourself. Simply start over if you get distracted and startbreathing too quickly. Deep breathing, like most worthwhile activities, takes alittle practice.
* Information presented here is not intended to cure, diagnose, prevent or treatany health concerns or condition, nor is it to serve as a substitute professionalmedical care.