In this exercise you will be consciously slowing down your breathing. This helps your body to feel less tense, your mind calms down and your thinking becomes clearer.
Exercise 6: Slowing down breathing
- Work out the pace and speed that works best for you.
- Breathe in for the count of three.
- Breathe out for the count of three.
- Continue to do this and each time slow the count to three very slightly.
- Don’t force the slowing down process – just allow your counting to gently keep time with a minor slowing down or the breathing for each time you repeat the exercise.
- When you have slowed your breathing down and notice that you have come to a pace that feels comfortable then stay at that pace, continuing to count your breath in to the count of three and out to the count of three.
A variation to this exercise is instead of counting the breaths in and out you may wish to spell them in – you might wish to spell “c-a-l-m” or “r-e-l-a-x”
- When you breathe in, spell the letters – “c-a-l-m” (or “r-e-l-a-x”).
- When you breathe out, spell the letters – “c-a-l-m” (or “r-e-l-a-x”).
- Each time you repeat the exercise slow the spelling down a little.
- When you get to a slower pace that feels comfortable then stay at that pace, continuing to spell your breath in and to spell your breath out.
Exercises in this series
- 1. Audio relaxation strategies
- 2. Muscle tense and release
- 3. Breath hold and release
- 4: Abdominal breathing
- 5: Progressive muscle relaxation
- 6: Slowing down breathing
- 7: Guided visualisation
Get the mobile version
The relaxation exercises are one of the features available in the free Living Well App for iPhone and Android. Relax anywhere, anytime.