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Susquehanna Life

Breathing Your Way to Gratitude: Abdominal Breathing Techniques

Dec 09, 2016 08:49PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Joan Hatcher, Licensed Social Worker, in private practice in Williamsport, recommend using deep abdominal breathing as a mindfulness tool that can help us pause and notice and invite gratitude into our lives. “It promotes relaxation, and is an excellent first-line soothing or grounding technique.”

Diaphramatic or Abdominal Breathing Technique

1. Lie in a comfortable position on the floor or sit in a comfortable position in a chair. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. When you take a deep breath in, the hand on the abdomen should rise higher than the one on the chest. This insures that the diaphragm is pulling air into the base of the lungs.

2. After exhaling through the mouth, take a slow deep breath in through your nose imagining that you are sucking in all the air in the room and hold it for a count of 7 (or as long as you are able, not exceeding 7)

2. Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. As all the air is released with relaxation, gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely let out remaining air from the lungs. We deepen our breathing not by inhaling more air but by completely exhaling it.

Repeat the cycle four more times for a total of 5 deep breaths; ideally, the exhale should be twice as long as the inhale. Try to breathe at a rate of one breath every 10 seconds (or 6 breaths per minute).

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