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Using Your Breath as a Portable Stress Management System

Try this simple breathing meditation to relax and release stress


by Lynda Light, M.Ed

Breathing and concentrating on your breath cycle is very simple, and it is at the heart of meditation. Deep diaphragmatic breathing, for even just a short period of time, can improve your heart rate variability and reduce heart rate, blood pressure, stress and anxiety. Your breath is a portable stress management system that is easy to use any time, any place.

While you breathe, concentrate on the total experience of breathing — the feeling, the sound, the tempo. For you surfers, imagine riding the breath, like a wave. Take the challenge and practice this breathing meditation once per day for four weeks and see what a difference it makes.

Try this breathing meditation

Use the following breathing meditation to help you feel more peace and experience more vibrant health.

  • Sit or lie down in a comfortable position with your back straight.
  • Breathe in deeply into the lower belly, in a fully diaphragmatic breath, slowly counting to five. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5…
  • Now release the breath by exhaling a five-count breath. Gently allow the abdominal muscles to pull your navel into your spine.
  • Briefly rest in the stillness found at the bottom of your exhalation.
  • Repeat this simple breath cycle 10 times.