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URMC / BHP / BHP Blog / June 2015 / Breathe Your Way to Calm

Breathe Your Way to Calm

When stress and anxiety have you spinning, a simple breathing exercise may help you feel grounded again. Short and shallow breathing raises anxiety. Deep breathing from the belly helps us to feel calm.  Here’s how the exercise goes:

  • Sit with a straight back, and exhale through your mouth.
  • Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for as long as comfortable.
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of eight.

You can repeat these simple steps three or four times to decrease panicky, out-of-control feelings. Controlling your breathing sends a calming message to your autonomic nervous system – the part of your body responsible for the relaxation response.

If you’re having trouble with anxiety and managing stress, you may also want to consider available resources through Behavioral Health Partners (BHP) and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). More information is available at BHP or EAP.

Steven P Brown | 6/8/2015

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