Stay relaxed – by saying 'relax'
Breathing exercises are helpful in times of anxiety, worry and frustration as they can help you feel calmer.
Most of us have tried the old faithful technique of taking a few deep breaths and counting to 10 when we need to calm down quickly.
Here is a technique you can use anywhere when you need to relax, using that exact word.
As you inhale, say silently to yourself "Re" and as you exhale say to yourself "Lax".
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Repeat this "Re-Lax" sequence over and over and you should soon be feeling generally more relaxed.
As you focus on the word relax, allow other thoughts to float away so that your mind is not so busy and is only thinking about relaxing.
If you find it difficult to get off to sleep, breathing techniques such as this can be helpful.
When breathing, the abdomen should move outwards as you inhale, as the big diaphragm muscle beneath the lungs moves down to allow space for fresh air to be taken in. The abdomen contracts as you exhale and the diaphragm muscle moves upwards to push air out of the lungs. Try putting your hand just below your belly button as you breathe to feel this.
If life is busy and stressful, try sitting quietly for a short while each day, maybe close your eyes and do a breathing exercise. Just a few minutes can give your mind and body a break from the hustle and bustle of the day, so you can return refreshed and rejuvenated.
Note: These tips are for self-help only. Complementary therapies can give many benefits, but are not a "cure-all" or an alternative to medical care from your GP. Always stop if you feel any pain and never massage over an injury. If you suspect you have a medical condition, you must seek medical advice.