Learn to breathe. Breathing is a natural means for our bodies to get oxygen into our blood stream as part a physiological mechanism that allows our body function. 

However, when people are in pain, stressed, or anxious, the response can be to hold one’s breath. We don’t mean to do it and don’t often realize we’re doing it. That’s why it is important to practice deep breathing, so we learn to deep breathe instead of holding our breath. 

Breathing practices are utilized in meditation, yoga, Qi gong, and tai Qi. The Lamaze method was developed based on the idea that controlled breathing promotes relaxation and decreases pain. They all recognize the importance and the subsequent benefits of using breathing techniques. 

Breathing calms to nervous system, reduces stress, promotes relaxation, and decreases pain. Practicing deep breathing doesn’t have to be overly complicated. It’s a matter of taking five minutes out of one’s day and practicing deep breathing. Usually practicing deep breathing as one is lying in bed about to fall asleep is a good time to incorporate it into one’s daily routine. The five minutes doesn’t have to be timed. Keep it simple. Take a deep breath in, hold for a moment, take a deep breath out, hold for a moment, and repeat. 

After practicing deep breathing five minutes daily, you become aware of the times when you’re holding your breath and need to take deep, slow breaths. So, in times of stress or pain, you will get in the habit of deep breathing versus holding your breath. Deep breathing is a great was to calm the body and the mind. 

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