“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
For most of us, breathing is something we take for granted. We don’t even think about it. But focused and controlled breathing is a simple and effective pain management technique that can be done anywhere and at any time. You can do it at home, at work, on a train or in a waiting room. It’s useful when you’re trying to sleep or when you’re waiting for your pain medication to kick in. And anyone can do it.
Find a comfortable position. This may be in a chair, on a bed or even lying on a blanket outside.
Relax your body, especially your shoulders, chest and stomach.
If you want, close your eyes. This can help you become more focused and block out external distractions.
Clear your mind. Put aside your thoughts, worries and anxieties.
Focus and take this short time out for you.
Slowly take a deep breath. Fill your lungs to a capacity that’s comfortable for you.
Then slowly release this breath. Don’t release it in a sudden exhale, but control it so it’s slow and smooth.
Continue to take slow, even breaths…in and out. You’ll feel your muscles start to relax and your mind will begin to calm.
Continue to breathe deeply in this slow, smooth way for as long as you need.
There’s no right or wrong way to practise deep breathing. Find the method that suits you best and makes you feel most relaxed.