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Breathing is part of many programs, such as strength training, yoga and meditation. However the trend now is to do deep breathing exercises just for the sake of breathing to help boost your mental health. Why? Deep breathing helps to bring more air into your lungs which oxygenates the entire body.

Deep breathing is also a great way to lower stress in the body. How? By slowing down the rate you breathe to 5 or 6 times per minute and by focusing on the depth of your breath, you will turn on your body’s relaxation response.

Let’s Practice

Join Lynne and Vicki Brick as they take you through a deep breathing exercise to boost your mental health.

Either lie down or sit tall in a chair with your legs uncrossed. Place one hand on your belly just below your rib cage. and one hand on your chest. Now take a deep breath through your nose, first feeling your belly rise, then your chest expand. Then slowly exhale through your nose.

One of the best techniques to help de-stress is to take deep breaths with the 4-6-8 second count. Four seconds to inhale deep into the belly first then chest, six seconds to hold then eight seconds to slowly exhale.

  • Inhale into the belly for four counts
  • Hold for breath for six counts
  • Exhale slowly for eight counts

When you do four rounds of the 4-6-8 deep breathing, it can lower your blood pressure, decrease pain, relax your mind, reduce anxiety and increase your energy and immune system!

To learn more techniques to help you reduce stress and anxiety, we invite you to read 5 Simple Self-Care Activities to Boost Your Mental Health.