Exercise: diaphragm only breathe
Place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest. If your entire breathe is from your diaphragm, then only the hand on your stomach will move, while the hand on the chest remains mostly still.
Exercise: sighing exhalation
Take several deep breaths pausing slightly at full intake. Do a controlled exhale along with a deep sigh. Allow the air to have a slight friction in your throat as it goes out, and make it as deep in your throat as you are able. Pay attention to the moment between exhalation and inhalation as a point of maximum relaxation.
Exercise: rhythmic breathing
Inhale on a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and pause for a count of four.
Exercise: rhythmic breathing 1:2
Take a full breath and release it. Repeat each of the following sets four times, then move to the next. Inhale on a count of four, exhale on eight. Inhale on five, exhale on ten. Inhale on six, exhale on twelve. Then go back down the series. Inhale on five, exhale on ten. Inhale on four, exhale on eight. Inhale on two exhale on four. If you run out of breath step back a count and try to breath more deeply and exhale more slowly. Try to control the exhale with your lower back as well and add a deep sigh on the exhale if the friction helps you meet the count.
Exercise: rhythmic breathing countdown
Take a full breath and release it. Visualize the number five. Choose relaxing imagery. Use as many senses as possible. As you get more skilled at imagery or this activity you will more easily incorporate more senses. What does it look like? feel like? What does the environment smell like? What sounds are occurring? What is the taste? When you are ready, on the next inhalation, mentally count down to the number four. When you exhale say internally, “I am more relaxed than I was at 5.” If you prefer, breath several times on number 4, or move directly on to number 3 on the next inhalation. Then on the exhalation say internally, “I am more relaxed than I was at 4.” Let yourself feel the relaxation spread from your chest to your limbs, and deeper into the body. Proceed the same way to number 1. It may take anywhere from thirty seconds to over two minutes to so the complete exercise. The important thing is the effect. If you feel totally calm and relaxed at number 1 then it is going well.
Exercise: rhythmic breathing counting
Breath on a similar pattern to simple rhythmic breathing. For example, four counts in, hold four counts, four counts out, pause four counts. Choose a count that works for you and then do it a few times till it becomes natural. Then start counting your breaths. Focus your mind on the rhythm of the breathing, and the relaxation that accompanies each exhalation. Allow the breath to wash away any intruding thoughts. See how high you can count, and then once you lose count start over. Try to allow your mind to be completely subsumed by your breathing rhythm and the count, keeping away any distracting thoughts or sounds. You can try this exercise in any position. However it may help to start by lying on your back on a flat surface. Place your feet a little wider than your hips, let your feet fall to the side. Hands should be laying alongside you with your palms up, as close to or far from your body as is comfortable. You can also place one hand on your upper stomach to enhance your connection to the rhythm.