DEEP BELLY BREATHING FOR REDUCING STRESS AND ANXIETY by The Yogi Psychologist – Julie de Rooij (MSc)
Have you ever noticed how you breathe when you feel relaxed? The next time you
are relaxed, take a moment to notice how your body feels. Breathing exercises can
help you to relax, because when you bring your body in a relaxed state, your
emotions, thoughts and feelings follow.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because
when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you
are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure,
all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.
This package includes:
- Guidelines & how to do it
- Audio recording: guided belly breathing exercise
Helps with the following:
• reducing anxiety
• enhance sleep pattern
• manage cravings
• controlling or reducing anger responses
• promotes abdominal breathing
• changing unhealthy breathing habits, which are connected to an unpleasant
state of mind.
• breathing with awareness allows the brain to focus on the body instead of
thoughts and emotions
• enhanced focus and concentration
• stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and deactivate the sympathetic
• energizing and uplifting mood
• strengthen immune system
• secretion of endorphins by the pituitary gland; “ the feel-good hormone”.
• The way you breathe affects your whole body. Breathing exercises are a
good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress.
• You be the judge. If you feel any discomfort or lightheadedness, stop and
pick up your normal breathing.
• Never force or restrict your breath. Do the best that you can and don’t
compromise the quality of the breath. The more you practice, the longer you’ll
be able to perform the exercises, and along the way, you’ll notice you’ll
expand your lung capacity.
• Patience and practice. Breathing exercises are about care and awareness.
Try to stay focused on the journey, not the destination! Over time, you will start
to notice the benefits of the practice. Try to do the exercise 1 or 2 times a day
and make it a part of your daily self-care routine. And remember it’s about the
way we do it and how much we notice.
• If you’re still learning, practice lying down.
DEEP BELLY BREATHING / ROLL BREATHING
Roll breathing helps you focus on the rhythm of your breathing and trains to work
with the full capacity of your lungs. You can do this breathing exercise in any
position. While you are learning, it is best to lie on your back with your knees bent.
1. Put your left hand on your belly and your right hand on your chest. Notice how
your hands move as you breathe in and out.
2. Practice filling your lower lungs by breathing so that your "belly" (left) hand
goes up when you inhale and your "chest" (right) hand remains still. Always
breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Do this 8 to
3. When you have filled and emptied your lower lungs 8 to 10 times, add the
second step to your breathing: inhale first into your lower lungs as before, and
then continue inhaling into your upper chest. Breathe slowly and regularly. As
you do so, your right hand will rise and your left hand will fall a little as your
4. As you exhale slowly through your mouth, make a quiet, whooshing sound as
first your left hand and then your right-hand fall. As you exhale, feel the
tension leaving your body as you become more and more relaxed.
5. Practice breathing in and out in this way for a minimum of 5 minutes. Notice
that the movement of your belly and chest rises and falls like the motion of
6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.
Caution: Some people get dizzy the first few times they try roll breathing. If you
begin to breathe too fast or feel lightheaded, slow your breathing. Get up slowly.
1 The.Yogi.Psychologist – Julie de Rooij (MSc) – Mental Health Psychologist & Yoga teacher