As we accept and adjust to our new reality of social distancing, teleworking and homeschooling, it is natural for your stress level to increase and your sleep cycle to be disrupted.

To help you de-stress and calm your anxiety, we will share exercises you can do at home. Today’s installment will walk you through belly breathing.

Belly breathing mimics how the body breathes right before we fall asleep. It tricks your brain into relaxing, because it thinks it is getting ready for sleep. It also helps slow down your thoughts, because you are focused on breathing and not on whatever is causing you anxiety.

How to belly breathe

  1. Sit up straight but relaxed so that you are comfortable and your lungs can inflate fully. Focus your thoughts on just the breathing.
  2. Breathe in through your nose as deep as you can until you can’t fit any more air in your lungs and hold it for 2 seconds. If you put your hands on your belly, you should feel your hands being pushed out.
  3. Breathe out using only your mouth until there is no air left in your lungs. You can envision that you are holding a small windmill toy and you want to make it spin as long and fast as you can.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 in sets of five as often as needed.

Need or want more help from Your Story Matters? We are accepting new clients of all ages in Iowa or Nebraska for telehealth sessions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.