Breathing Exercise

Awakening the Brain book, by Dr. Charlotte A. Tomaino

(Use this script or put this in your own words.)

Get comfortable in your chair. If you like, close your eyes; or just gaze at the floor.

Take a few moments to settle yourself. Now make yourself aware of your body. Check your body for tension, beginning with your feet, and scan upward to your head. Notice any tension you might have in your legs, your stomach, your hands and arms, your shoulders, your neck, and your face. Try to let go of the tension you are feeling.

Now, make yourself aware of your breathing. Pay attention to your breath as it enters and leaves your body. This can be very relaxing.

Let’s all take a deep breath together. Notice your lungs and chest expanding. Now slowly exhale through your nose. Again, take a deep breath. Fill your lungs and chest. Notice how much air you can take in. Hold it for a second. Now release it and slowly exhale. One more time, inhale slowly and fully. Hold it for a second, and release.

Now on your own, continue breathing in this way for another couple of minutes. Continue to focus on your breathing. With each inhalation and exhalation, feel your body becoming more and more relaxed. Use your breathing to wash away any remaining tension.

(Practice breathing for 1 to 2 minutes in silence.)

Now let’s take another deep breath. Inhale fully, hold it for a second, and release. Inhale
When you feel ready, open your eyes.again, hold, and release. Continue to be aware of your breath as it fills your lungs. Once more, inhale fully, hold it for a second, and release.

How was that? Did you notice any new sensations while you were breathing? How do you feel now?

This breathing exercise can be shortened to just three deep inhalations and exhalations.

Even that much can be effective in helping you relax when your anger is escalating. You can practice this at home, at work, on the bus, while waiting for an appointment, or even while walking. The key to making deep-breathing an effective relaxation technique is to practice it frequently and to apply it in a variety of situations.

About Charlotte Tomaino, PhD

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