Learning how to breathe properly is one of the most effective tools you have for stress relief. How do you do it?
Our breath is under automatic and conscious control. Bring your awareness to your breath.
Breathe in a conscious slow, deep and smooth manner through your nose.
Belly rather than chest breathing with the inhalation and exhalation supports relaxation.
Exhalation is the parasympathetic or relaxation response while inhalation is the sympathetic or fight or flight response. Breathe out by at least 1 second longer than what you breathe in. Ultimately aim for slow breathing with an in-breath for a count of 4 and an out-breath for a count of 6. Put them all together and you have the capacity to put out the fire of acute stress or lower the simmer of chronic anxiety.
Dr. Philip Blustein