Often, counselors talk to their clients about being aware of "HALT". This is about being aware of when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. What can be equally important is being aware of breathing. Are you holding your breath, is it shallow? Here are some simple breathing techniques for you to build awareness of your breath.
1. Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”
Start in a comfortable seat on the floor or in a chair. Begin to become aware of your breath. Breathing in and out of the nose. If your inhale is the count of 3 match the inhale to the exhale. Begin with an inhale for a count of three, then exhale for a count of three (all through the nose). Got the basic breath down? Interested in more of a challenge? You can try six to eight counts per breath. The goal is to create balance and calm the nervous system.
2. Abdominal Breathing Technique
Place one hand over your heart and the other over your belly. Breathing in and out of the nose. Take a deep inhale and imagine all that air traveling up towards your heart. Then exhale that breath back down to the belly. Take up to ten deep breaths.
3. Progressive Relaxation
Start at the crown of the head. Release any tension in your forehead, muscles around your eyes and cheeks while focusing on a nice deep breath. Focus on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Following that relaxing sensation all the way down each muscle of your body until you get down to your toes.
Alanna is the Owner and Clinical Director of Breathe., LLC. Alanna is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, Registered Yoga Instructor, and Certified Heartmath Trainer. Alanna has over 20 years of experience working in the addictions field. Alanna takes a holistic approach when working with clients, combining the mind, body, and spirit in counseling.