Relaxation and Breathing Exercises
Stressed out? Upset? Just heard in class the phrase "pop quiz"?
One of the healthiest ways to
respond is to take…a relaxation breath.
To be able to use this relaxation breathe in a moment's notice, it's best to learn and practice it ahead of time. (Like right now)
There are many relaxation exercises. Below are basic ones to try.
Note: If you feel pain in your body, do not stress and tense that area, but instead avoid
applying the exercise to that area.
Also, if you feel light headed or tingling for
example in your hands, stop the exercise as you may be breathing incorrectly
If you feel light headed or dizzy while practicing,
breathe more shallow and slow it down. To correct dizziness and tingling you may
need to breathe and rebreath into a paper bag.
As always, in case of an emergency
call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
A good place to start relaxation is by learning the "cleansing breath". The cleansing
breathe will alert your body that it's time to relax. You can use it discreetly anywhere
you might be when you feel the need to relax.
Another exercise that is used frequently is the
progressive relaxation exercise.
Before you start, find a comfortable seat and with adequate posture, sit with
uncrossed arms and legs.
If you feel comfortable gently close your eyes.
The Cleansing Breathe:
Begin breathing slowly. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
breathe diaphragmatically allowing the stomach to rise slowly and the chest to expand.
Exhale longer than you inhale.
You may even want to purse your lips as you slowly exhale
Breathe normally for a few breaths and then take a deep and slow cleansing
breath. Feel your body relax.
Progressive Relaxation Exercise:
Progressive relaxation involves contracting and relaxing muscle groups one part of your
body at a time.
Begin with a cleansing breath. As you establish a comfortable breathing pattern, feel
your stomach and chest slowly rise...relax...breathe out slowly...slowly...and relax.
Your body is beginning to relax. Think "relax".
Concentrate on you face - the area
around your eyes, your jaw, your neck.
Notice any tightness... Breathe in warmth and
Now concentrate on your hands. Notice any tension. Make a fist..tighten your fists as you inhale.
As you begin to exhale, relax your fists. Notice how your hands feel... Think "relax"...
Relax more and more.
Now focus on your arms...Notice any tension...relax your arms...
feel your body relaxing...
Let the feelings of relaxation spread though your arms and
hands and fingers.
Continue this exercise throughout your body. At any point you can stop should you
With practice the cleansing breath alone can bring total relaxation.
Also, check out our "Keeping Connected" Relaxation Kit that has wonderful healthy items to help with down-time.
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