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Paced Breathing: The Calming Cadence to Soothe Your Soul

Feeling overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of life? Longing for a moment of tranquility amidst the chaos? Say hello to paced breathing – your ticket to instant calmness and inner peace.

Paced breathing is a simple yet powerful mindfulness technique that can be practiced anywhere, anytime. By syncing your breath to a specific rhythm, you activate the body’s relaxation response, easing tension and inviting serenity into your soul.

You can use your breath to regulate your nervous system, just as contemplative practices have done for centuries to calm the body and mind. Even the military and police rely on tactical, paced, or box breathing to maintain optimal functioning in high-risk situations.

The basic technique is to slow your breathing to around 6 breaths per minute with a 4/6 ratio of inhalation to exhalation time. Breathing in this manner promotes a harmonious state between your respiration and your heart, bringing balance to your entire being.

Here’s how you can get started with paced breathing:

  • Begin by turning your attention to your breathing, feeling your chest rise and fall and noticing the sensations of air moving in and out of your nostrils.
  • Inhale deeply for 4 seconds, letting your abdomen expand as if it were inflating like a balloon.
  • Exhale gently for 6 seconds, slowing the flow of air by pursing your lips and making a swoosh sound

You may need to start with a shorter inhale-to-exhale ratio, like 2/4 or 3/5, and gradually work up to 4/6. Find the combination that suits you best.

If your mind wanders, gently redirect your focus back to the counting and breathing.

Using a breathing app in the beginning can help serve as a breathing coach. Eventually, the paced breathing will become second nature.

Start practicing with a couple of minutes of paced breathing two times a day. You can also use it during times when you feel stressed or before situations that you anticipate will cause stress.

Remember, if you start to feel dizzy or experience tingling sensations, return to your normal breathing pattern. Paced breathing should be a comfortable and calming experience. So, embrace this powerful tool and make paced breathing your daily companion on the journey to a more serene and balanced life. Happy breathing! 🌬️💓

Paced Breathing is a skill we teach and utilize in our DBT program. Are you interested in learning more about DBT skills? Sign up to get our free DBT Starter Kit straight to your inbox.

Other resources:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.apps.paced.breathing&hl=en_US&gl=US

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/breathe-easy-paced-breathing/id1081000353

 

 

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