Updated: Jun 18
My writings explore mental health and the pathway to wellness. This blog explores self-care activities.
Studies show meditation practices are proven methods for lowering stress and improving your ability to regulate emotions. There are many techniques but controlled breathing is a foundation/
Diaphragmic Breathing (06/18/2022)
It's natural to imagine breathing as something you do merely by expanding your ribs because that's where our lungs are located. But deep full breaths come from attention to the breathing muscle. the diaphragm, which is at the bottom of the ribcage and separates the lung cavity from the abdominal cavity. This muscle expands the lungs by moving down into the abdominal area. Now consider how little room it has if you suck in your gut to try to hide a belly bulge. Holding in your gut gets in the way of meditative breathing. Instead, imagine your belly like a balloon that fills up your lungs with each inhale. Likewise, imagine your "belly balloon" deflating with each exhale. Notice how you are moving your attention away from the ribcage and toward the belly. This special attention ensures full deep breaths. In fact, when breathing fully your ribs don't need to expand in an exaggerated manner at all. Just let them expand naturally and merely let your belly do the work.
Squared Breathing (06/18/2022)
Squared Breathing is a simple and effective way to enter a relaxed meditative state. I like to think of it as a great emergency meditation because it is easy to do in high anxiety moments. This technique is called "Squared" because your breathing is broken into four parts. The first part is an inhale for four seconds. The second part is a pause where you hold your breath for four seconds. The third part is an exhale for four seconds. The Fourth part is another pause (held breath) for four seconds. Then begin the cycle again and again for at least five minutes.
Once in a relaxed state, you may want to try a guided mediation. There are many on media platforms, as well as Apps.