Slow "Diaphragmatic" Breathing for Relaxation
The way that we breathe is a reflection of our physical, mental, and emotional states. When we feel anxious and stressed out, especially for an extended period of time, we tend to breathe rapidly and often, using only the upper part of our chest, resulting in less oxygen flow within our bodies. When we feel calm and relaxed, we tend to breathe from our diaphragm muscle, located just above the stomach. Diaphragmatic breathing allows our lungs to expand and bring more oxygen into our bodies; as a result, we feel more relaxed and better equipped to handle stress. Follow the links below to learn how to practice diaphragmatic breathing on your own.
|University of TX, Austin||breathing: video|
|Ithaca College||breathing: audio|
|University of Wisconsin, Madison||breathing: audio (Gentle Harp)|
|University of Wisconsin, Madison||breathing: audio (Nature Sounds)|
|University of Denver||breathing: video|
|University of CA, San Diego (in Korean)||breathing: audio|
|University of CA, San Diego (in Japanese)||breathing: audio|
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Muscle tension often goes hand in hand with feelings of stress and anxiety. Without realizing it, we may be clenching our fists, grinding our teeth, or tensing our shoulders when we feel this way. Progressive muscle relaxation teaches us how to be connected with these physical symptoms and how to release this tension. When we reduce the physical tension, we then reduce emotional stress and anxiety.
|Ithaca College||muscle relaxation: audio|
|University of San Diego||muscle relaxation: audio|
|University of CA, Riverside||muscle relaxation: audio (male voice)|
|University of CA, Riverside||muscle relaxation: audio (female voice)|
|University of CA, Riverside||muscle relaxation: audio|
Guided imagery is a gentle but powerful technique that focuses and directs the imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. It is based on the concept that your body and mind are connected. This relaxed state may aid in healing, learning, creativity and performance. It may help you feel more in control of your emotions and thoughts, which may improve your attitude, health, and sense of well-being.
|University of CA, Riverside|
|University of CA, Riverside||guided imagery: audio (mountain)|
|University of Maine|
|University of Maine|