Deep breathing works both to prevent harmful reactions to stress and to help relieve them. If you practise deep breathing for a few minutes each day, you will find that events do not upset you as much as before. Also, whenever you feel upset taking few slow, deep breaths can help break stress cycle and calm you down.
Even when you cannot control the situation, you can always control your breathing and thus change your reactions to those circumstances.
Exhale completely through your nose. Place your right hand on your chest and left hand on your abdomen. Then begin to inhale by filling your abdominal area with air as described earlier. As you do this, your left hand alone should begin to rise and not your right hand. After filling your abdomen with air, keep inhaling filling your lowest chest, which should now cause your right hand to rise. Your chest expands as you inhale. Keep inhaling and feel the air rising even higher in your chest. As the air reaches the top of lungs, you will feel your collar bones begin to rise. At this point, be careful not to draw your abdomen inward.
To exhale, repeat the same process in reverse, i.e. from the top to the bottom. Feel your collar bones lowering as you empty the top of your lungs. Continue exhaling as you feel the upper and then the lower parts of the chest contracting. Finally, allow your abdominal muscles to contract thereby pushing out whatever air remains.
Practise deep breathing for a few minutes every day. Also do it whenever you have some free time or when you are feeling stressed.
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