Exercise 1. Diaphragmatic Breathing
Diaphragmatic Breathing (or “Belly Breathing”) can be useful in signaling to your brain that your body and breathing are relaxed and calm, so that your brain can turn off its stress response and your body can return to normal.
- Sit or lie down and get into a comfortable position
- Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your abdomen
- Focusing on your breathing, and inhaling slowly, (it is helpful to count slowly to five), try to keep your chest steady, but your belly rising as you take deep (not shallow) breaths in.
- Hold your breath in for a moment, then exhale just as slowly, counting to five, and feeling your belly lower back down.
- Repeat for at least 5 minutes, but more is great!
If you practice this regularly, you’ll be able to relax when you need to more easily, as your body will be in the “habit” of calming itself back down when this kind of breathing is initiated.