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Breathing exercises to help with stress

Today I will breathe deep and be grateful. ~AnnVoskamp.Com1.  Deep “Belly Breathing”.  Try taking 6 to 10 deep breaths.  Put your hand on your belly and imagine filling your belly with breath, rather than your lungs.  This helps you breathe deeply from your diaphragm.  Be sure to fully exhale each time.  You can even exhale with a “whoosh”, forcing the breath out.  It’s very cleansing, and will help your body “reset”.

2. 4-6-8 Breathing.  Take a few minutes and allow yourself to count while you breathe in for 4 counts, hold it for 6 counts, and exhale for 8 counts.  Don’t strain, and keep it comfortable.  The main idea is to allow yourself to count, hold your breath for a moment, and exhale.  Doing this 6 to 10 times in a row, several times a day, is a great stress reliever.

3.  Counting your breaths.  Try breathing deeply, exhaling fully, and on each exhale count, first “one”, then “two”, etc.  If you can, it’s great to close your eyes, and visualize the number.  Go up to 10, and then start over, as many times as you like.  This is a a great way to clear your mind.  Don’t worry if it’s hard to visualize the number.  Even the attempt helps worrisome thoughts to drop away.

4.  Relax your tongue.  While doing any of these exercises, practice relaxing your tongue.  I know, it sounds crazy, but it really makes a difference!  When you relax your tongue, the tip of the tongue will naturally end up resting gently just behind your front teeth, rather than on the roof of your mouth.  For reasons I don’t understand, this really helps the rest of the body to relax.

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