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Published on: 14 Sep 2010 by fathima
I know you hear all sorts of things about the negative effects of stress on your body and overall health. Even Oprah Winfrey had a guest on her show about how deep breathing could help you look and feel younger since it can reduces stress levels. I could go over it all again, but itemizing all the potential mental and physical misery brought on by stress would probably increase your stress. My rule of thumb is this: if something goes wrong with your body, if you get sick, have bad dreams, get blotchy skin or fight with your sweetheart, and if you can't find a physical cause for your problems, there's a good chance that somehow, some wa y, stress has a hand in your unhappiness
Deep Breathing Exercise Technique to Try
To practice deep breathing, you will need ten minutes of uninterrupted time and a kitchen timer.
1. The first step is to give yourself permission to practice deep breathing, forgetting any ideas of multi-tasking. Promise yourself 5-10 minutes, twice a day, every day.
2.Turn off the cell phone, shut the office door (or go sit in your car) and make sure you can give your full attention to doing nothing.
3.Get yourself in a comfortable position. You may be sitting or lying down: it doesn't matter.
4.Loosen tight clothes, and take off your shoes if they aren't comfortable.
5.Set your timer for 10 minutes (or 5 if you're just starting and fear that 10 minutes of sitting quietly may drive you mad. It won't, though, and you can work your way up to it gradually.)
6.Relax your body. Those muscles you usually suck in, let go of. Let your face droop, too (many of us hold lots of tension in our jaws and foreheads. Especially if you're prone to headaches, relaxing your face will be most helpful.
7.Close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Usually, the chest rises when you breathe. In deep breathing, your stomach will rise. Feel your stomach rising and falling. If your mind is racing, count your breaths. Otherwise, just concentrate on your breathing. Usually, your mind will wander, so when it does, gently remind it that you are just breathing now and will think of other things later. Don't get mad at yourself, and don't give up after only a few tries.
And that's all there is to it. When your time is up, the timer will ring. If you've managed to fall asleep, it may be because you've been so tightly keyed up that releasing your anxiety for a few minutes gave you some much-needed rest. Don't feel bad about that!