• Dana Kimbrough-Dixon, MA, LPC

JUST BREATHE


Breathing is essential to live and there are numerous breathing styles that help to keep us grounded. Breathing techniques are simple coping strategies that can be done anywhere.

Various techniques are used as a part of a number of other coping strategies like yoga, physical exercise and meditation, just to name a few. I personally like breathing techniques as a way to destress because they help me stay in the moment and ignore the noise around me.


Breathing exercises are being taught in classrooms around the country. My sons pre-k 3 teacher teaches students how to use breathing as a way to help them relax and feel calm anytime they feel a strong emotion such as sadness, frustration and anger. Some breathing exercises can reduce stress, anxiety, give instant relief when in fight or flight mode, improve mood, decrease Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and help with sleep.


Deep Breathing is a relaxation technique used to help control symptoms of stress, anxiety and anger. When experiencing anxiety, breathing can become shallow and rapid, heart rate increases and muscles become tense. During deep breathing, breathing becomes deeper and slower, and the symptoms of anxiety begin to fade away. Deep breathing can also decrease heart rate, reduce blood pressure and increase lung endurance.


Below are directions on how to use the deep breathing technique. It would be ideal to practice any new breathing technique with a fitness professional and/or therapist, though it can still be effective if done on one's own.


Let get started!


While beginning to learn any breathing exercise, place your hand on your stomach to notice the rise and fall of your stomach with each inhale and exhale.


1. Sit back or lie down in a comfortable position.

2. Inhale- breathe in slowly through your nose for 4 seconds.

3. Pause- hold the air in your lungs for 4 seconds.

4. Exhale- breathe out slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds.

5. Repeat for 5 or 10 minutes or a minimum of 2 minutes and work your way up.


-If this exercise is not working try slowing down your breathing.

-If your mind starts to wander start counting your breaths. It takes your mind off of the source of the anxiety.


"There's Hope With Cope":)

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