Balance with breathing techniques
Deep breathing switches our body's fight or flight stress response into a rest and digest relaxation response. Try the following 4 - 7 - 8 count cycle. Take a deep breath for a count of 4. Use your entire lung capacity by starting your breath from your abdominal area, up to the diaphragm, then expanding your ribs out as far as possible. Hold for a count of 7, then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. Repeat the process for several breath cycles. You may also try counting each breath backwards in cycles of 4 as another strategy for quieting your mind.
Slow breathing while smiling and moving your eyes activates different parts of the brain, promoting deep relaxation. Find a rectangle object in your line of vision. Look at the upper left corner. As your eyes move to the upper right corner, inhale for a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4 as your eyes move to the lower right corner of the object. Exhale for a count of 4 as your eyes move to the lower left corner. Now hold your breath and smile while your eyes return to the upper left corner of the object. Repeat several times.
Reverse breathing is a technique to help reduce hunger pangs. Inhale slowly while you pull in your stomach muscles tightly. Now exhale slowly while you push out your stomach muscles. Repeat this cycle for several breath cycles. Avoid this exercise if you have high blood pressure.
Whisper "ah" several times after you exhale to release tension in your jaw caused by clenching your teeth. Think of something funny that brings a smile to your face. Exhale, then whisper "ah" near the end of the breath cycle. You will feel the jaw relax and drop open. This also helps release any additional stale air in your lungs. Repeat for several cycles before resuming your normal breath pattern. Click on this link for a video with additional instruction.
Feel connected to the Divine source of life by imagining a series of parallel breaths moving between heaven and earth. As you breathe in, the breath moves through you up towards heaven. As you exhale, the breath moves down through you towards the earth.
Breathe a prayer of affirmation to increase well-being and release tension in your body. Choose a word, phrase or mantra to repeat in your mind while inhaling and exhaling, such as “Release” or “I am well”. If you get distracted, simply return to a few deep breaths.
I am well ..... I am whole ...
Be the change ... in the world ...
I am loved ... I release fear ...