Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on June 14, 2012


Patricia A. Farrell, PhD. Clinical Psychologist.

© 2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

Video Transcript

Narrator: Once I'm stressed, how can I calm myself?

Patricia Farrell, PhD: One of the greatest things that I recommend for anybody is relaxation breathing. Whoever thought a breathing exercise would be a terrific thing to do? It's very simple. You learn it in less than a minute, it might take you one minute to do, you can do it any time during the day, anywhere, it will make you feel good. You could find it anywhere. You can find it on the internet. You can find it in books. You can find it in my book. Its a very good thing to do.

Narrator: How do I do relaxation breathing?

Patricia Farrell, PhD: What I want you to do during this exercise, as we are breathing in, we're going to breathe in, hold a breath and breathe out through our mouths. When you do that, I want you to think about the position of your shoulders, the position of your ribs, where your legs and hands are. I want you to think about those things.

Patricia Farrell, PhD (cont.): So we're going to begin. You breathe in through your nose, hold it for a count of five, out through your mouth. Remember, you're thinking about the position of your shoulders as they go up and down, your ribs go in and out. You're going to do that at least three times. We don't want you hyperventilating, remember, it's got to be comfortable for you. You gradually, so you do it again, alright nice and slow, very slow. Just think about the shoulders.

Patricia Farrell, PhD (cont.): Do it 3 to 5 times. You can do it anywhere, you can out to the water cooler. If anybody hears you, they'll think you're sighing. That's okay. You can go out the elevator, go downstairs, in the elevator by yourself. You can do it. You can go to the ladies' room, the men's room, wherever you want to do it. It's so easy. You can do it at your desk. You can do it 10 times a day if that's what you feel you need. You can't overdo it as long as you don't hyperventilate and that's fine.