Relaxation Techniques shared by Lynne Burton Clifton, LCSW
(This exercise was adapted from yoga, and is also called Calming Breath. This technique is adapted from The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne, PhD)
- Close your eyes and sit comfortably with both feet on the floor and your back straight, arms resting comfortably at your side. Breathing from your abdomen, breath in slowly through your nose for a count of five. As you breath in, notice your lungs expanding and how cool the air is in your nose.
- Hold your breath for a count of five. Imagine all the tiny cavities in your lungs expanding to receive this air, exchanging the carbon dioxide in your blood for this nourishing oxygen.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth to a count of five. Imagine a balloon deflating completely so you will fully exhale, ridding your lungs of the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Notice the warmth of the air you are exhaling.
- Allow yourself to rest and take two breaths in your normal rhythm.
- Repeat steps 1-4 for three to five minutes, remembering to exhale fully and take two normal breaths in between. If you find yourself getting dizzy or light-headed take normal breaths until this clears.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself yawning. This exercise is an excellent way to calm and relax yourself at bedtime.