Pause: How to press pause before life does it for you by Danielle Marchant ($19.99), published by Hachette Australia.
I have found deep breathing to be particularly useful practice whenever I am feeling tense or overwhelmed, or having my blood pressure measured, trying to fall asleep etc I hope it assists you too.
Deep breathing exercise (p196)
This simple breathing exercise is very relaxing for the body and mind, so it is particularly helpful before you go to sleep – you can do it lying down in bed.
- Let your arms relax on either side of your body and keep your legs about hip-width apart. Initially, just take a few gentle deep breaths, inhaling through your nose
and exhaling through your mouth, mindful of filling and emptying your lungs fully.
- Now take a deep inhale through your nose for a count of four. You might create a soft sound as you do so that also helps to soothe and relax you. Hold the breath at the top of the inhale for a count of four, then exhale through your nose for a count of four.
- On the next breath, inhale for a count of six, hold for a count of six and exhale for a count of six. And the breath after that, inhale, hold and exhale for counts of eight. If you can, try building up to counts of 10 and 12.
- To complete the exercise, start reducing the count by two for each breath until you finish with a count of four.
- Now just let go and breathe normally…