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What is a good breathing exercise?

GEHA | Alfred Santos | October 28, 2018

Mental health How to's Everyday health
Relieve stress with this quick and easy "soft belly breathing" exercise.

Alfred Santos, GEHA Account Manager, explains how you can relieve stress with this quick and easy 'soft belly breathing' exercise – also known as 5-1-5 breathing.

Breathing has a nice balance of energizing you and relaxing you at the same time. It can make you more present.

There’s a Harvard-educated psychiatrist who developed a breathing process called “soft belly breathing.” I like to call it 5-1-5 breathing because it’s easier to remember the actual process. It’s really nice because it takes you less than a minute. Any time of the day when you’re finding stress or anxiety kicking in, you go back to this breathing pattern.

Take an inhale [breath] for five seconds through the nose, hold it at the top for one second, then exhale out through the nose or mouth for five seconds.

Repeat that [breathing process] three times. It’ll take you less than a minute.

Again, the nice thing about it, it will really relax you, energize you, allow you to become more present, and it will really help you deal with any stress or anxiety.

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