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Health Tip: Less Stress in 7 Steps

Deep breathing relaxes your body and mind.
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Feeling stressed? Here are seven simple steps for breathing your way out of stress:

  1. Sit in a comfortable, not-too-soft chair that lets you keep your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Put your hands gently on your belly, right below your ribcage.
  3. Ready to take a breath? Expand your belly, drawing breath in through your nose. When you do this right, you'll feel your hands move slightly.
  4. Don't hold your breath. Open your mouth a little. Slowly let your belly contract, gently pushing your breath out your mouth.
  5. Repeat this for a few minutes. Try not to think of anything in particular. If thoughts wander into your mind, let them wander back out. Don't try to push the stress out of your body -- just let it go.
  6. Practice this for several minutes each day. Work up to about five or 10 minutes at a sitting.
  7. Do this once a day. If something is stressing you out, do a few minutes of this deep breathing until you feel calm.

Reviewed on November 12, 2007

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