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DEEP BREATHING

Deep diaphragmatic breathing is wonderful way to help feel more relaxed and calm. It starts by calming yourself physiologically, which can then lead to you feeling more relaxed mentally.

PHYSICAL RESPONSE TO STRESS

When we begin to feel stress or anxiety, our sympathetic nervous system activates. This leads to a more rapid heart rate, feeling more alert, and sends blood to our muscle groups. It also makes it more difficult for us to focus or engage in activities usually associated with rest (e.g. sleeping, eating, etc.).

When we are feeling physically activated, our mind begins to become more stressed out. Our body may begin to release stress hormones and our mind also can interpret these physical symptoms and decide that there is something dangerous around, hence we experience our emotions more intensely.

However, when we active our ‘rest and digest’ system (parasympathetic nervous system), which we can do via deep breathing, we are then able to regain focus and feel more relaxed overall.

HOW DO YOU DO IT?

  1. Place a hand over your chest and one over your stomach
  2. When you breathe, make sure your stomach is going in and out, not your chest
  3. Breathe in very slowly through your nose until your stomach feels full with air
  4. Hold the breath for a count of four
  5. Breathe out very slowly through your mouth
  6. Repeat for 5-7 minutes

FOUR STRATEGIES TO TRY TODAY

Click here to explore this section. You can also reach out to C&PS to learn more about our biofeedback program and potentially sign up for our 4 session treatment program. 
Visit our popular mental health apps section. There are a few of them that specifically look at deep breathing strategies.Once you download it, try it out. 
Start with one minute, then aim to do 7 minutes each time.
If you believe there may be a stressful situation in the near future, put yourself in a better position to be successful by hav ing your body in as much of a physically calm space as possible. 

ONLINE ASSESSMENTS

If you are curious about learning more, you may find it helpful to take one or more of the following screenings or click here for our general online assessment screenings:

We also developed a COPE stress test to further guide you as well.