In Day 5 of our self-care quest we're back to the breath with a simple stress relief breathing exercise called the Clearing Breath. The Clearing Breath is helpful in releasing anger and upsetting thoughts, it’s also useful for pain relief and relaxation in general.
Here's how to do it:
- Place your right hand in the middle of your chest, and your left hand in the middle of your stomach. Now take a slow deep breath in.
If you notice that the hand on your stomach rises higher than the hand on your chest, you have been successful in drawing your breath deeply into your lungs. If that isn’t what happened, just keep practicing and breathing as deeply as you can. Be sure to empty your lungs fully on your out-breath to encourage the next breath in to deepen and cause your stomach to rise.
- Exhale through your slightly open mouth and release your breath slowly and completely.
- Repeat until you have completed five cycles.
That's it. You could say "calm" just before you exhale if you wish, it helps keep your mind focused on your purpose for this practice. Some people like to count and affirm, for example, breathing in and saying "one calm" then releasing the breath and saying "two calm" after the next inhale and so on...
This exercise is sometimes known as belly, or diaphragmatic breathing, it has helped thousands of people feel in control of negative emotions, stress and anxiety.
Related articles and breathing techniques you might enjoy: