Deep Breathing: Learn the Right Way to Breathe

Deep Breathing  Deep Breathing Audio


It is easier to learn this in the presence of a professional or via audio, but we’ll make it work.   Begin by sitting in a chair. Once you learn this you can do it lying down or while in line at the grocery store. You will need a stopwatch, watch or a cellphone with an app for that. First test your breathing by timing for one minute how many breaths you take, with each inhale and exhale counting as one.  Notice how high your count is. Most people take on average between 15-17 breaths per minute. You likely are taking short shallow breaths. The goal is to get between 3-6. And no I’m not on acid.
Now place your hands over your belly, and with your mouth closed take in a deep slow breath while pushing your belly out, hold it for a few seconds feeling the oxygen and slowly let it out. Notice the difference already huh? Do it again, with each inhale you are filling your belly with air like blowing up a balloon and holding your breath then slowly letting it out. If you get dizzy or lightheaded then speed the breath up. The goal is to relax not pass out.


Now time yourself again for one minute doing the deep belly breathing aka diaphragmatic breathing, and see what your count is. If it is not at 3-6 breaths per minute try again. Most people get it the first time, because we come into this world breathing this way. Imagine a baby on its back, how the belly expands. This is what you will be doing. No more sucking in your abs or wearing constrictive clothing, unless you like being stressed out and uncomfortable.  Once you have your count down, spend at least 10 minutes a day doing this. Anxious people should work up to 30 minutes daily. To keep mental chatter away focus on a mantra, a word or phrase, the entire time. Some people use the word one, breathe, relax, release etc.  You are breathing anyway or you’d be dead, so there is no excuse. You are simply breathing more deeply and slowly. I tell some patients to email and text themselves to breathe to remind themselves throughout the day to slow down. I have breathe stickers strategically placed in my office to remind patients and myself as well.  The benefits of deep breathing are mentioned in another blog. Read that if you need motivating. However; I think once you do this for 10 minutes you will feel much calmer and centered, and that will motivate you.




Dr. Umfer is a licensed clinical psychologist and forensic psychologist in Tampa Florida. She specializes in weight loss and forensic evaluations, such as sex offender risk assessments, psychological evaluations for substance abuse, competency, fitness for duty, immigration etc. She has certifications in fitness and nutrition, clinical hypnotherapy and as a meditation instructor. She identifies herself as a Forensic Evaluator and Weight Liberator and strives to help clients become "Umferized" aka empowered and fulfilled.

Posted in Stress Management Tagged with: , ,
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed