Take a deep breath! Well, we all know this phrase. Usually, it’s said to you by someone else when you’re anxious, stressed, in shock, or in panic mode, and are breathing rapidly, excessively, and shallow. It’s thought that taking deep breaths can help to calm you down and relax you, which sometimes indeed may do the job.
Deep Breathing then is basically about making a stop (and change) in the — probably uncontrolled — way you are (over)reacting, or are handling a certain situation by taking slow, mindful i.e. conscious, and full breaths, typically by using an Abdominal Breathing technique.
Breathing consciously, slowly, and deeply may help you to take a distance from the thoughts and sensations that upset you. It can be done standing, sitting, or lying down, whatever you find most helpful and comfortable.
To take deep relaxing breaths, you would inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth, while keeping your awareness on the experience of your breath while it moves in and out your body. Mind that you can also inhale and exhale through the nose, instead of exhaling through the mouth.
An extra help may be that you use imagery to give extra power to the exercise. For instance, while you breathe in you can say or think: “I inhale calm and peace.” And when you exhale, you can say or think: “I exhale stress, anxiety, and tension.”
Additionally, Deep Breathing can become a beneficial part of your daily routine. That is, if you regularly make time to take deep breaths (just a few minutes, a few times per day) it promotes your overall physical and mental well-being, making you a calmer, clearer, and more relaxed person.