Breathing: Three Exercises
"Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders." Andrew Weil, M.D. Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind. I recommend three breathing exercises to help relax and reduce stress: The Stimulating Breath, The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (also called the Relaxing Breath), and Breath Counting. Try each of these breathing teachniques and see how they affect your stress and anxiety levels. Exercise 1: The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath) The Stimulating Breath is adapted from yogic breathing techniques. Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. Watch a video of Dr. Exercise 2: The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
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