Conscious breathing is a feature of all mindfulness practices and is a powerful stress-reduction tool. In simple terms, slowing and deepening our breath, sends a signal to the brain to calm down and relax. Research shows that the way you breathe is directly connected to the arousal center of the brain, and can help turn on the parasympathetic nervous system.
BREATHING DOs and DON'Ts
DON'T hold your breath
DON’T take rapid and shallow breaths
DO take deep, slow, relaxed breaths to signal your brain to relax.
DO use abdominal expansion and contraction to facilitate deep breaths is particularly effective. (imagine the full body breathing of a newborn baby
DO use breath counting exercises like 4-7-8 breathing (4-5-6 is fine too). Here's how! Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Take a deep, slow breath from your belly, and silently count to 4 as you breathe in. Hold your breath, and silently count from 1 to 7. Breathe out completely as you silently count from 1 to 8. Try to get all the air out of your lungs by the time you count to 8. Remember, slow and steady is your goal. Repeat