Breathing in through your nose, deeply, while blowing your tummy out, like a balloon and then gently exhaling through your mouth, all the way to the end of the breath. There is a natural pause between each inhale and exhale. There is no need to rush. In fact, the more you take your time, the better the exercise and the more effective results you get. You can repeat the cycle for as many breaths as you find helpful, or at least enough times that you can notice a physical and mental sense of calm and ease. Alternatively, you could simple target repeating a series of ten breaths each time you engage in the exercise. And if needed, you could choose to repeat as many series of ten breath in a row depending on how comfortably regulated you would like to be. 

This basic exercise is called the abdominal breathing and it is such an effective coping tool. In fact, what makes it so effective is because it is a tool that is with you, in your pocket or in your bag wherever you are. Every time you find yourself getting caught up by negative emotions or have a thought that you don’t wish to have that crosses your mind, you can use this abdominal breath.

You could do it sitting, lying down or even walking. The only rule is not to cross your arms and legs for the blood circulation to flow more loosely. If you really want this exercise to become an automatic response whenever needed, the best way to make that happen is through practice. Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. So one way to develop this new useful habit is by repeating the exercise in the morning as you wake up and in the evening before you go to bed, whether you are feeling good or not. And of course, to remember to apply it throughout the day whenever you notice some form of dis-ease kicking in.

If you found this exercise beneficial do comment and share. You could click on this link to watch the short video clip demonstrating the exercise.

You might also want to check out our upcoming retreats centered on Mindfulness. Or our personalized person-centered programs for stress and burnout.