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Calm Down! A Simple Guide to Deep Belly Breathing

Taylor Winn
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Stress can happen to anyone at any time. However, the one stress reduction tool you’ll never leave home without is . . . your breath!
 
Breathe in, breathe out.
 
Your breath oxygenates every blood cell in your body, provides nourishment, slows your heart rate and lowers or stabilizes blood pressure. If your energy is scattered and feels chaotic under stress, your breath can bring you back into your body. The simple act of breathing is perfect to practice when you need a timeout from your day, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed.
 
In our culture, we tend to breathe shallowly, only filling our chests with air. The result? A lack of oxygen to the lowest part of the lungs. Because a flat stomach is considered attractive, many people tend to hold in their stomach muscles to achieve a slimmer image.
 
This “sucking in” interferes with deep breathing and limits your diaphragm’s range of motion, which can actually increase stress and anxiety. Instead, you should breathe deeply and fully every chance you get.
 

Follow these 10 simple steps for deep belly breathing to promote well-being, relieve stress, and calm down:

 
1. Find a comfortable, peaceful place in nature or in your home where you won’t be disturbed. Sit with your back straight and the crown of your head lifted towards the sky. Another option is to lie flat on the ground. Once you’re comfortable, close your eyes.
 
2. Place one hand on your chest/heart chakra and one hand on your belly (just below your navel) over your sacral chakra.
 
3. Take a normal breath.
 
4. Now, take a slow, deep inhale through your nose, filling your lungs with oxygen all the way into your lower belly. Notice as your belly rises under your hand.
 
5. Holding your breath, pause for a second or two.
 

 
6. Slowly exhale through your mouth as if you’re fogging up a mirror. This should be an audible exhale. You can even make the H-A “haaa” sound as you exhale, which helps relax the body even more. Notice as the hand on your belly moves with the breath.
 
7. Do this several times until you have established a calming rhythm.
 
8. Now, imagine that the air you’re breathing is pure healing, nourishing energy, spreading relaxation and calmness throughout every cell in your body.
 
9. As you exhale, imagine that your breath is transforming any tension you may have back into pure energy, and exhale it back into the world.
 
10. Imagine you are one with your environment, creating a synergistic vibration in the world. This magnifies the healing energy of breath work.
 
Try this deep belly breathing for 10 minutes or until you feel completely relaxed. Gradually work your way up to 15-20 minutes a day.
 
By having a regular deep belly breathing practice, you will be better equipped to access it anywhere and draw from its benefits in any situation. Whether you’re sitting at your work desk filled with papers, driving in traffic, or dealing with heartache or the loss of a loved one, you can always utilize your breath to help regain your center and rebalance your thoughts.
 
One thing to remember is no matter how stressful a situation or how alone you may feel, you can always return to your friend that you can count on to help you calm down: your breath.
 

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Taylor Winn

Taylor Winn is an acupuncture physician, herbalist, birth doula, and the wellness expert and co-founder of Wellness Tribe. She has a passion for holistic living and inspiring others to live their well-thiest life. As an avid yogi and traveler, her wanderlust spirit has led her on adventures around the world. Discover more of Taylor’s wellness wisdom on the Wellness Tribe blog, wellnesstribe.com

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