Deep Breathing: Learn how to do it right!
How many times have we had someone tell us to take a deep breath when things get tense? Did u know that most of us don’t even breathe right? In fact, another indirect contributor to stress is incorrect breathing patterns. This is because most of us only use the upper portion of our lungs for breathing. This action puts a strain on the lungs and the heart and does not allow the body to take in a good amount of oxygen.
A good, deep breath originates in the belly and allows the lungs to be used and filled completely, thereby supplying more oxygen to the body. More oxygen awakens every cell in the body, energizing, and rejuvenating them at the same time.
A deep breathing exercise is the best form of meditation you can practice to control stress. Here’s how you do it:
- Lie on your back and begin by gently flexing your muscles starting from the feet and moving up to your scalp. Flexing will loosen your body and help it relax.
- Run a quick recap in your mind to check if you missed out any part.
- Start to inhale slowly. The breath should begin from the lower belly and gradually move to the stomach area, finally filling up the chest and moving to the shoulders. Hold this full, deep breath for a second or two and then slowly begin to exhale, this time starting from the bottom of your lungs, then the middle, and finally the top.
- Repeat the cycle for another 4 to 5 minutes. Do not try to force your breathing. Breathe in and out as much as your body can manage. Your focus should be on making it as peaceful and calming as possible.
- After 5 minutes, shut your eyes and begin to imagine that you are resting on a beautiful island and watching the waves. Now try to sync your breathing with your imagination. Breathe in every time you imagine the waves approaching and breathe out when they move away.
You can practice rhythmic breathing for as long as you want. You can even practice it at night, especially when you find it hard to sleep. So, breathe deep and breathe right!