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Mental Health TreatmentRecovery Exercises9 Steps to Destress With Your Breath - BlueSky Behavioral Health

May 17, 2021by BlueSky

9 Steps to Destress With Your Breath 

  1. Locate a quiet place where you will not be interrupted for about fifteen minutes. Turn your phone off. Rate your current stress level on a 0-to-10 scale where zero means total calmness and free of stress, and 10 means extremely stressed out. 

Your prepractice relax rating should look like this:

0         1         2         3         4         5         6         7         8         9         10 

  Total Calm                                                                                   Total Stress 

  1. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands palms down on or near your knees. 
  2. Close your eyes and listen to all the sounds in your environment for a few moments. Try to focus your thoughts on what you hear. Ignore all other thoughts. If your thoughts wander, gently squeeze your knees and return your attention to a sound.
  3. After a minute or two turn your attention to your breath. Now, as slowly as you can, breathe in through your nose to a count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Attempt to make your inhale last until you reach 10. Try to fill your lower abdominal area with air first, then your midsection, and finally your chest. Do your best to fully expand your lungs as much as possible. It may make you feel uncomfortable at first; this will be especially so if you smoke cigarettes or pot. However, with a little practice, your ability to expand your lungs will increase. 
  4. After you have fully inhaled, hold your breath for a count of 1, 2, 3. 
  5. Then exhale slowly to a count of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. As you exhale, repeat to yourself, “ I am calm” over and over again. 
  6. Repeat the Slow Deep Breathing (SDB) cycle for ten to fifteen minutes or until you feel noticeably calmer. Concentrate on your breath. Ignore all other thoughts. You will find it difficult at first. Each time that your thoughts drift, simply squeeze your knees gently and refocus on your chant, “I am calm” and the rise and fall of your chest as you inhale and exhale. 
  7. After you gain a sense of calm, open your eyes and rate your stress level again. How much calmer do you feel? 
  8. Remember to rate your stress levels pre- and postpractice. Your goal is to rate your stress level as a 3 or less on the 0-to-10 relax scale. 

Postpractice Relax Rating:

0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10 

   Total Calm                                                                                            Total Stress

You can live well! Start your journey to recovery with BlueSky Behavioral Health. Get the best mental health treatment by visiting https://blueskyrecovery.com or call (888) 822-7348.

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    BlueSky Behavioral Health provides personalized care for mental health issues and addictions. Our dedicated staff will create an individualized treatment and recovery plan for you or your loved one. We offer Supportive Independent Living with case management and life skills training for those who need a respite away from home but do not need a full residential stay.

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      BlueSky

      BlueSky Behavioral Health provides personalized care for mental health issues and addictions. Our dedicated staff will create an individualized treatment and recovery plan for you or your loved one. We offer Supportive Independent Living with case management and life skills training for those who need a respite away from home but do not need a full residential stay.

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