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How do I practice abdominal breathing?

Sheri Van Dijk
Psychiatry
To do abdominal breathing, take a moment right now to notice how you're breathing: are you breathing deeply or shallowly? What's moving more when you inhale, your chest or your belly? Are your breaths coming quickly or slowly?

Now sit in a chair and lean back comfortably. Place your fingers on your stomach, so that the tips of your fingers are just slightly touching, right around the area of your belly button. When you breathe in, you should see your fingertips rise slightly as your belly inflates; as you exhale, your fingertips will come back together again as your stomach deflates. If you haven't been breathing like this naturally, it may feel forced or unnatural right now. That's okay: do it anyway. You may find that you have to push the air down into your diaphragm to inflate your belly; if you have a really hard time, you may want to try doing this exercise lying down, which will make it a little easier to get the air down farther, past your chest. Do this for a few moments, being mindful of your breath, just noticing how it feels to breathe, watching your belly rise and fall with your breath. When your attention wanders from your breath, just notice that this happens and bring your attention back.
Calming the Emotional Storm: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Manage Your Emotions and Balance Your Life

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Calming the Emotional Storm: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Manage Your Emotions and Balance Your Life

When you have difficulties managing your emotions, it can feel like you’re losing control of your whole life. Anger, hurt, grief, worry, and other intense feelings can be overwhelming, and how you...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.