Encourage deep breathing with belly breathing, you simply take long, conscious breaths. Ideally you breathe in for a count of three and breathe out for a count of five. Repeating this cycle will trigger the relaxation response—it’s the opposite of the fight-or-flight stress response in that you engage the nervous system to tell your body to relax and your mind to be at ease.
1. Breathe deeply. When you breathe deeply, your diaphragm at the base of your lungs pushes your belly out. This is belly breathing and is a natural way to breathe—you can see babies doing it.
2. As you exhale, gently press on your belly. As you breathe in, encourage your belly to expand, and as you breathe out, allow your belly to contract. You could even gently push your belly in with your hand when you breathe out to help you to do this, if it doesn’t come naturally to you.
If the hand on your chest…