Here’s a simple, easy-to-learn breathing exercise.  It takes less than five minutes to perform.  You can do it anytime and anywhere.  It’s useful if you feel stressed or if you’re about to enter a stressful situation.

The exercise consists of three steps and involves counting silently to yourself at a moderate pace.

Breathing Exercise

 1)  Inhale through your nose to the count of four.

2)  Hold your breath to the count of seven.

3)  Exhale all of your breath through your mouth until your lungs feel completely empty of air.

TIPS:  Count silently to yourself at a moderate pace.

During the exhalation, it’s most effective if you purse your lips and blow all the air out.  (If you’re in a social situation, exhale normally so as not to attract attention. 🙂

Do the three steps — three consecutive times.   No more than three times.

You can do the exercise as many times during the day as you want or need to.  However, only do the three steps three times in a row at any one time.  Doing it more than three times might cause lightheadedness.  In fact, just doing it just three consecutive times makes some people a bit lightheaded when they first begin performing it.  This is an uncommon side effect, but it can occur.  So don’t do it while driving until you’re sure you’re not prone to this side effect.

This breathing exercise is calming and relaxing.  I recommend that persons who are ‘anxiety-prone’ or under stress perform this exercise three times a day on a daily basis.

Okay.  Try it on your own!

About Peggy D. Snyder. Ph.D.

Psychologist, Author
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