We live in a very busy society. We need to take time for ourselves. We need to slow down and breathe. Breath can have an impact on our sense of peace. Breathing exercises are useful to all of us but are particularly helpful for those struggling with anxiety and depression. Here are 2 of my favorite techniques.
Find a quiet place. Place a hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Breathe for 5 minutes feeling the breath move in your chest as well as your stomach. When we are stressed we often either hold our breaths or breathe shallowly in only our chests. Breathe deeply so that your hand on your stomach also moves. You can choose to count. Whatever number you choose for inhalations, make the exhalations last for a longer count.
Another effective breathing technique is called 4-7-8 and has been developed by Andrew Weil, teacher and writer on holistic health. This technique is similar to the above technique except that you will inhale to the count of 4, hold the breath counting 1-7 and exhale to the count of 1-8. You can see a video demonstration and explanation by Dr. Weil by googling Andrew Weil 4-7-8.