Breathing exercises for relaxation are exercises that are designed to put the body and mind in a relaxed position. Without any aids, you can do simple breathing exercises at any time and any place to gather yourself and relax. Breathing exercises are particularly suitable for this purpose, as breathing influences our body and can thus positively influence and dampen it in stressful situations. On the other hand, breathing exercises are useful to fix the tense mind on breathing and to suppress unpleasant thoughts and musings.
Basically there is a variety of different breathing exercises and it is definitely worth trying a few different ones to find one that makes you feel best and works most effectively for you individually. Relaxation techniques are not necessarily immediately successful and it takes some practice before you can quickly calm down your body and psyche with simple breathing exercises and bring it back into a comfortable position, especially in a restless and stressful environment such as at work. It makes sense to practice breathing exercises first at home in a quiet and familiar environment, so that you can recall them even in a tense situation.
It can be helpful to always recite the same instructions for the exercises imaginary yourself, in order to make it easier for the mind to focus on the exercise “mantra-like”. Breathing exercises can be combined well with perception exercises, such as those from autogenic training, or they can be done in isolation. A breathing exercise for relaxation can look like this, for example.
“I feel my breath flowing calmly in through the tip of my nose and my chest rising. I can, if I want to, feel the movement of my chest and perhaps also my belly when I put my hands down. When I exhale through the loosely opened lips, my chest lowers again, the breath flows calmly.
With each breath I now try to breathe deeper into my stomach without exerting myself. I breathe deeper and more evenly, my flanks become wider with each breath, my abdominal wall rises gently with each inhalation and lowers with each exhalation. I concentrate on the direction of my breathing for about 6 breaths.
Then I breathe normally for a few breaths. Then I inhale again in a relaxed manner deep into the flanks, counting to 4, holding the breath in a relaxed manner after the inhalation, and then let the air flow out quickly through the open lips. There may be a slight breathing sound when I exhale.
During exhalation, all tension is released. From the second exercise I can also do 2-3 breaths. “
How do you relax the diaphragm?
Bad posture, stress and shallow breathing can cause our diaphragm to cramp and work less well. However, for physiological (abdominal) breathing it is essential that this important muscle supports the inhalation. The diaphragm is also important for the posture of our spine.
In order to loosen our diaphragm and at the same time functionally activate it, certain breathing exercises are recommended. Here, exercises in the seat should be discussed, as these can also be incorporated into everyday office life and support the relaxation of breathing: From the upright seat, both feet are firmly under the knees, the pelvis and the back are upright, reach with the right hand to the left side of the chair and hold on tightly. The left hand stretches far over the head slightly to the right side, the whole left side becomes long and stretches.
The breath should now flow into the wide left side of the chest. You can feel the side stretching and loosening. The breath flows in through the nose and out through the mouth, breathing is calm and at your own pace.
Then the exercise is performed on the other side. Each side can be practiced for about 1-2 minutes. Before changing sides, a short break is useful to avoid hyperventilation (tingling in the mouth or fingers – urgently pause the exercise).