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Wouldn’t it be nice if, whenever we felt like we were overwhelmed, overworked, and overtired, we could just pack up and get away? Vacations are great for regrouping and recharging. When we get back from a vacation, we tend to fee re-energized, ready to tackle everything!

Even though a vacation might not be possible, you can start feeling more relaxed, calm, and at ease in minutes by just altering your breath!

Our mind and bodies relax when we take slow and steady breaths in,  using our diaphragm. It is also important to slightly extend the out-breath or exhalation. The extra carbon dioxide in our bodies with a slow exhale produces the relaxed, calm sensation.

How to control your breathing:

  • Place one hand slightly above on your belly button and your other hand on your sternum or collarbones.
  • Take a conscious in-breath that feels slightly deeper than normal, but still comfortable.
  • Pause for a moment before slowly exhaling. If possible, breathe in through your nose and out through “pursed” lips (or pretend you are breathing out of straw).
  • The hand near your belly button should be the only one moving. (When we’re running or exerting ourselves, we want faster, shallower breaths that use move of our chest and shoulders.

How slow should I be breathing? Ideally, you are aiming for six breaths a minute. Break each breath down into inhaling for 4 seconds and exhaling for six. Most individuals experience results after even just a few minutes of diaphragm breathing.

The next time you feel like you just need to get away from it all, try this technique!