Focusing on your breathing not only encourages you to slow down and take deeper breaths, it can also help bring you into the present moment and shift into more of a parasympathetic/relaxed state. Here are two examples of breathing exercises you can try, or check out these apps:
1. Deep belly breathing:
- Take a slow breath in through the nose, breathing into your lower belly (for 4 seconds)
- Hold your breath for 2 seconds
- Exhale slowly through the mouth (for 4 seconds)
- Wait a few seconds before taking another breath
- Repeat as needed
2. Alternate nostril breathing:
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.
- Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed for a brief moment
- Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side
- Pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.
- Inhale slowly through the right side
- Hold both nostrils closed
- Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side
- Pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale