We live in this time, in these bodies, in this world. And right now it's really hard.
Because we live in a culture of fear and in a culture of violence and sometimes it's really hard to hear your own voice inside your head.
Breathing deeply works against stress, against fear, and helps you connect with your inner voice, your inner wisdom.
If you, like so many of us, feel at a loss right now, start with this, it will clear your mind and give you your starting place.
Here are two ways to breathe more deeply:
1. Breathe over time.
Using a slow count, breathe in 1...2...3...and out 1...2...3... Now increase it to 4 by breathing in 1...2...3...4...out 1...2...3...4... Increase the count to 5 and breath 1...2...3...4...5...out 1...2...3...4...5...
Repeat this exercise beginning with a count of 4, then of 5 and finally of 6. How do you feel now?
2. Breathe with a pillow or with a Teddy Bear.
(This is an exercise I used to assign my voice students all the time--and it works!)
Lay down on the floor and put a regular pillow on your tummy. Breathe in slowly and breathe in deeply so your tummy moves up and so does the pillow. Exhale slowly and watch the pillow come back down with your tummy. Repeat 5 times, nice & easy.
Or, as the American Institute of Stress recommends, try it as recommended for kids [of all ages!] with a Teddy Bear:
"Teddy Bear Breathing– Lie on your back, place one hand on your chest and place your favorite teddy bear on your belly button. Close your eyes and relax your whole body. Breath in slowly through your nose. Your teddy bear should slowly rise, but your chest should not. When you have taken a full deep breath, hold it, count to three then slowly breathe out. Repeat a few times, until your feel relaxed." (Found here.)