Gimme 5: Deep Breathing Techniques



It’s a common mental command we give ourselves when the going gets tough. Monitoring the breath is an effective way to reduce stress, detoxify, and improve overall health and wellness. But our breath, as vital as it is to our existence, is rarely focused on.

We breath too fast and shallow, with our chest barely rising and falling. Some only take deep, belly breaths when they need to calm down — perhaps when the going gets too tough. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. If conscious breathing is able to help us in moments of disarray, imagine what it can do for us when we implement it on a regular basis. There are a lot of deep-breathing exercises that can be done, each with its own set of perceived benefits. I recommend people research and experiment to find what works for them. A great starting point is this article by Dr. Weil on three breathing exercises.

Lately, I’ve been doing a 5-5-5 method. I do this once in the morning, once at night and sometimes during the day for a mental break. This approach involves breathing in from the nostrils for a slow count of five seconds, holding that breath for another five count, and then slowly letting it out through an open mouth for five more seconds (or longer, if that’s what it takes to empty out the lungs). I do five of these breaths per session. It gives me energy in the morning, peace of mind during the day and relaxation at night.

Do you do any deep breathing exercises? I’d love to hear them; please share in the comments!

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  • This is such a good one. I’ve tried other breathing techniques and have never had much look, but this sounds simple and effective enough that I want to try it.

    • Dee

      I sometimes struggle with deep breathing and meditation practices because I can be impatient with them. This method is pretty quick and easy, but still gets the job done. I hope you try it out and find some success!

      • I definitely will – glad you posted this! I’ve tried to meditate multiple times and have never been successful. But I’m not giving up hope – I’m going to keep trying. I know it takes lots of time and practice, but it’s just so difficult!