Updated: Mar 29, 2022
"How often do you pay attention to your breathing? Rarely." This is a response I hear from my clients often. The mind and body are an amazing organism and do most things without us having to think. The autonomic nervous system controls the breathing rate. You can split the autonomic nervous system into two hemispheres, sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system kicks in when the body is stressed. The parasympathetic system starts when in a state of relaxation. What you think and do daily can cause either to be set in motion. Breathing exercises can help you consciously shift into a state of relaxation.
The first exercise you will do is two minutes long. What you are going to do is find a comfortable place and either sit or lie down. You will place one hand on your abdominal area the other hand will be placed on your chest. You will now perform 3-5 seconds of inhalation, hold for 3-5 seconds, and exhale 3-5 seconds. This exercise will help you practice inhaling and exhaling using your diaphragm. Make sure to fill up the hand on your abdomen first.
The next exercise you will do is two minutes long. What you are going to do is find a comfortable place and either sit or lie down. With your right index finger cover your right nostril. Allow yourself to close your eyes and breath slow and controlled into any places of pain or discomfort.
The last exercise will be three to 5 minutes long. What you are going to do is find a comfortable place and either sit or lie down. You will begin to inhale for 5-10 seconds, hold for 5-10 seconds, and exhale for 5-10 seconds. This exercise will help your body to become less dependent on oxygen in the system and increase your carbon dioxide threshold. This will allow for more controlled breathing during exercise and breath holding.