Like any new exercise you’re trying to learn, Practice Makes Perfect. And it allows for you to use this technique whenever you need it—and to do it well.
Practice this breathing exercise a few times a day, especially just before sleep, helping your body to create muscle memory so when you’re in the middle of an anxious moment you can do it easily.
a. Lie on your back in a comfortable position and empty all the breath from your lungs.
b. Breathe in fully and slowly through your nose for a count of 4 filling the belly then the chest. (At the end of the count your lungs should be absolutely full. When inhaling into the chest don’t forget to allow the ribs at your back to soften and expand as well as those at the front.)
c. Relax your body holding your breath for a count of 7.
d. Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth just behind your upper teeth and exhale fully but slowly through your mouth for a count of 9. Exhale from the chest first followed by the belly.
e. Relax your body for a few seconds and then repeat from step b. above.
Make sure that the exhale is always longer than each of the other parts. Continue for as long as is convenient, the longer the better.
Keep slowing down the count as much as possible, as long as it is comfortable.
WITH STEADY PRACTICE, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE THIS EXERCISE ANY TIME YOUR CAR BREAKS DOWN, YOU’RE FRUSTRATED, OR JUST WANT TO SCREAM! HAPPY BREATHING!