When we’re anxious or stressed, our breathing tends to get shallow and fast. To relax, we need deep, slow breaths. Breathing is the key to relaxing. Try this exercise:
- Lie on your back somewhere comfortable (and safe!)
- Put your arms by your side and your legs out straight
- Close your eyes
- Breathe in for 5 seconds. Push your stomach out as it fills with breath, almost like a balloon inflating
- Hold it for 5
- Breathe out for 10 seconds, blowing out through your lips like you’re blowing out candles on a cake. Feel your tummy go down again
- Hold for 5
- Repeat 12 times
- Listen to the sound of your breathing
- Repeat a couple of times today – or whenever you get really stressed.
You might also want to try this app ReachOut Breathe – it helps you monitor your heart rate and control your breathing to reduce some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, or this Deep Breathing tool - it helps you with deep breathing which is a calming technique.