Breathe Journal Entry #3—A Bonus Breath Technique + 4 Slow Breathing Exercises
Today was a day that I needed slow breathing exercises in a serious way. It was a rough day. From little things to a few major things, it felt as though life was fighting me all day long.
For starters, my website was down and I do not remember the last time that happened. Later in the day, I bought myself a special iced tea called bubble tea. Minutes after buying it, I spilled it all over my car. Just about everything went awry today including when I’d hang something up and it would promptly fall down. And on and on it went… I think you get the idea of the type of day I had and so I’ll digress.
Late in the afternoon, I was wise enough to engage in some conscious, slow breathing exercises that I know. While they helped lessen my frustrations, they still continued to follow me around me like a nasty storm cloud that refuses to dissipate. Unfortunately the slow breathing techniques I used just hadn’t fully cut through my stress this time.
And then, I recalled an unusual but powerful breathing exercise that I knew just might help me better manage my crummy day.
An Unusual but Effective Slow Breathing Exercise
This breath technique is simple yet powerful and goes like this:
- Take a BIG inhale
- Then, let out the LOUDEST biggest scream you can
- Repeat as many times as needed
- Follow with slow breathing in through the nose, and out through the mouth.
- Focus on the sensation of release coursing throughout your body and mind from taking the time to scream and release your tensions
Not exactly the slow breathing exercise you had in mind? Well, me either. But for those times when you are frustrated, angry, hurt, mad or upset, I assure you that this breathing exercise is a fabulous one to practice.
Four Slow Breathing Techniques
Fortunately, most of my days are not as intense as today. For these more gentle and typical days, I find that going straight into a slow breathing technique keeps me focused, centered and feeling good about myself and all that life has to offer.
Below are a few slow breathing exercises I enjoy and hope you find helpful.
Victorious Breath —
This is one of my all-time favorite slow breathing techniques. It is easy and effective. Simply breathe in through your nose while holding a slight tension in the back of your throat. Be sure to listen to the sound your breath makes by holding that tension in your throat. It may sound like the ocean (and some say it sounds like Darth Vader’s breath).
Once you have finished your in-breath, pause for about three seconds and begin exhaling — ideally through your nose — while once again holding a slight tension in the back of your throat. Pause for three seconds.
Repeat the in-breath and out-breaths with the three-second pause in between for a least three rounds, or as long as you would like to practice this breathing technique. Remember to maintain that slight tension in the back of your throat throughout the breathing exercise.
Belly Breath —
Breathe in sooooo deeply that your belly bulges out. Make it bulge out as far as you possibly can. (Pssst….You may need to set your ego aside in order to get the fullest belly breath that you possibly can).
Be sure to inhale slowly and deeply until you can not possibly take in any more air. Then slowly, slowly, slowly exhale through your nose.
Repeat this deep belly breath for at least three rounds of inhaling and exhaling.
Hissing-Cooling Breath —
Part your lips slightly. Keep your upper and lower teeth together. With open eyes, inhale gently and slowly through the teeth. You will hear a hissing or c..c…c….c sound. Feel the coolness at the back of your throat.
Pause for a few moments or hold your breath as long as you can.
Then, close your mouth and your eyes and exhale through your nose very slowly and feel your exhale cool your mind and your nervous system.
Repeat for at least 3 rounds or for as long as needed.
Double Exhale —
This is a super-simple slow breathing exercise that can be done anywhere and is an excellent stress reliever when done correctly.
Breath in through your nose and focus on the coolness of the breath on the back of your throat. Exhale and focus on the warmth of the exhale.
Continue the in and out breath sequence and grow your exhale with each round until you can exhale longer than your inhale (counting is an excellent gauge).
Your aim is to get your exhale twice as long as your inhale but do not force yourself into a longer exhale or you will stress yourself out even more, which is not your intended goal.
When first learning this breathing exercise, you may find that you can inhale for 10 seconds and exhale for 10. Then, after a few more rounds, you may find that you can inhale for 10 and exhale for 12. Eventually, you might get to a 10 second inhale and a 15 second exhale. This is great! With time and practice, you will get to a 10 second inhale and a 20 second exhale but there is no rush. Just enjoy your breathing journey.
Slow breathing has many benefits and helps to clear your mind, relax your body, and keep you focused on the things in life that matter the most to you. Moreover, when life throws you those curve balls and your emotions flare up, practicing a slow breathing technique can really help to calm you down and restore your sense of well-being and balance. Remember to use the screaming breath technique first if you find that you are just too distracted or worked up to be able to go directly into a more quiet and calming slow breathing exercise.
Until next time, slowly breath on…
The owner, creator, and curator of JournalBuddies.com and all-around journaling lover!