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Did you know that you can relax your entire body with one single deep breath. Deep breathing sends a message to the brain to calm down and relax. The physical signs of stress, such as increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and high blood pressure decrease when you breathe deeply to relax. That magical deep breath also delivers more oxygen to each and every cell of your body which is incredibly energizing.

Here is the best part: it costs nothing! You can do it right there in bed before or after sleep. You can do it sitting at your desk in your work clothes, or while sitting in the car waiting to pick up the kids. Stuck in traffic has you stressed out? No problem, just close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Exercise #1

Sit quietly and close your eyes. Take a deep breath while counting to five. Fill your rib cage with air. Continue to to take in air until you feel that you can’t continue. Hold it for 5 seconds. Exhale for 5 seconds and when you think all your air is out, puff or push out a little more. Continue this for 5 minutes. Over time you will be able to increase this to 15 minutes. Set an alarm to help you. Try to do this twice a day.

Exercise # 2

This is known as “alternate nostril breathing”. Sit quietly with your thumb pressing one nostril, and your middle finger pressing the other. Release your thumb and exhale out. Inhale from that same nostril and out your thumb back in place. Next,  exhale by removing your middle finger and then breathe in from that nostril. Place both fingers over your nose and hold for a couple of seconds. Continue this alternating breathing for 5-10 minutes. This requires focus and concentration and is a wonderful stress reliever.

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