How to do it

Notice your breath – is it fast or slow, are the breaths deep or shallow? Where can you feel it in your body; your nose, throat, chest or belly?

Take a deep breath in, and then a long breath out.

Breathe again and try to make the out breath longer than the in breath – it may help to count silently in your head (3 in 5 out, 5 in and 8 out, or 7 in and 11 out).

If you start to feel dizzy or unwell just breathe normally again.

Make sure your body is physically well supported – put your feet firmly on the ground, sit down if you need to, or press your back against a wall.

It may help to move to a place where you feel safe, both physically and emotionally.

Why it works

Our breath is an amazing tool, and one that is always with us. It not only keeps us alive on a minute-by-minute basis, but it can also alter our mood and calm us down.

If we’re feeling stressed or anxious, using a longer out breath activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This calms the body’s “fight or flight” response and helps produce a state of equilibrium.

Using a longer out breath helps our bodies return to a calmer state which makes it much easier for us to deal with whatever situation we find ourselves in.

How was this for you? Did it help?

Additional resources

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