Breathing – so simple but so effective!

Try these exercises if you are thinking about negative past events or worrying about stuff that hasn’t even happened. Sometimes we worry about things and imagine what could happen but the problem is, those things we are concerned about may not ever happen and yet, we are spending a lot of emotional energy worrying about it!

Breathe

Breathing is so under-rated! It can help to slow your heart rate or breath rate, it can increase immune system functioning and help you to think more clearly.

Exercise 1:

Sit comfortably or stand and focus on your normal breath rate. Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose. As you do this, notice the movement in your shoulders as you breathe in then out.  You will notice movement there, maybe a rising and falling motion. If you don’t notice any movement there, maybe try breathing a little more deeply. Do this for one minute and repeat throughout the day as often as you can.

Exercise 2:

Do the same thing as in the first exercise but this time, focus on another part of your body as you breathe, maybe your chest. Notice the movement there as you breathe in and then out. You will notice a rising and falling motion. If you don’t notice any movement there, maybe try breathing a little more deeply.

Exercise 3:

If you are feeling emotional or anxious try this exercise:

Take a deep breath in through your nose then out through your mouth and make a whooshing sound when you breathe out. See if you can slow the breathing down so it takes 3 seconds to breathe in, hold for half a second, then take 3 or more seconds to breathe out. Focus more on the out breath and see if you can empty your lungs of air which will help you take a longer breath in. Do this for a few minutes each time. If you start to feel a bit dizzy stop for a bit, then try again. Try and use your diaphragm for this exercise – use all of your lung capacity rather than just half of it. When you breathe in and expand your chest only, you are missing out on breathing diaphragmatically!

 Ask your student counsellor, social worker or psychologist to show you if you find this difficult.