How to Relax - Two Simple Breathing Exercises





Introduction: How to Relax - Two Simple Breathing Exercises

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Two simple breathing exercises that require little practice or preparation.

Step 1: Exercise One: Fading Sun

This exercise is good for helping yourself drift off to sleep.

Sit or lie down comfortably.

Close your eyes.

Picture the deep blackness of space, filled with a giant red sun. It is huge, but dull. You can feel its warmth all over your body, but it doesn't burn.

Watch the Sun as you slowly breath.

Breath in through your nose and watch the Sun expand slightly.

Breath out through your mouth and watch it shrink.

The longer you breath out, the smaller and fainter the Sun gets.

Keep breathing slowly as the Sun fades away.

The smaller the Sun gets, the slower you breath.

Smaller ... fainter ... slower ...

Smaller ... fainter ... slower ...


Step 2: Exercise Two: Draining

This exercise is good for relaxing after a stressful episode, such as an argument.

Sit or lie comfortably. Perfect position is sitting upright in an office or dining chair where you can put your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands on your knees, relax your back, slump a little.

Close your eyes and think about your body. Picture the stressful feelings as an inky black liquid permeating your body.

Breath in slowly through your nose, lifting your chest and shoulders as you do.

Blow out slowly through your mouth (put a little effort into it), and, in your mind's eye, watch the level of the black liquid go down a little. Feel it drain away through your feet into the floor.

With each breath out, the level goes down more.

The liquid in your arms will drain out of your hands, down your legs and out your feet.

You should be able to feel muscles un-knot and even feel warmer as the level drops past them.

(You can also do this exercise whilst sitting in traffic. Imagine the liquid draining right out through the floor of the car, pooling in the road. As you drive off, you leave the stress of the day behind you - just don't close your eyes!)

(If you're lying on your back to do this, imagine the liquid draining out of the small of your back).



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    20 Discussions

    wow...i just tried method 1 and almost fell asleep in my chair!!! ill try this next time i need to sleep but cant...where did you get these??

    2 replies

    They're something I've cobbled together from personal experience and practice, mainly trying to help pupils calm down after stressful events.

    You should make mp3 recordings of you (or someone with one of those amazing radio-announcer voices-I've never heard you) stating the instructions. It's difficult to read with your eyes closed.

    2 replies

    I just had an argument with a friend and then found this exercise. It works like a charm!
    I also feel colder after but maybe its got something to do with this being my first try at it?

    Thank you for the 'able!

    this works so great i just did it and i feel so much better it got rid of most of my stress.

    this is cool and works but i dont feel warmer i get colder......

    1 reply


    If you're comfortable feeling cooler, then that's fine. If you're not comfortable feeling cooler, then try another exercise.

    i usually just lay down and feel calmness slowly spreading upwards from my feet all the way to my head it make me feel calm relaxed and loose

    Really useful!
    I'll try this exercises during the workday.
    But I should say, there's nothing better than nature that can make you relax and feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
    relax with nature is a good source with a great collection of nature relaxation videos. really helpful.

    I've added this instructable to a group for teenagers, on a mission to lower forum posts about teen problems that we have the answers to, leaving the ones we don't to get answered.

    1 reply

    The second method can also help you cool off after the gym. I learned it a different way, though. When I learned it, I was taught to sit on the floor with my legs crossed, shoulders relaxed, eyes closed (not too tightly), and palms face up in my lap. As you take a deep breath in through your nose, imagine all the heat and tiredness balling up in your hands, then as you breath out, imagine them going away. Works well for me.

    Kind of reminds me of a shortened version of some of my self-hypnosis tapes. Great relaxers they are.

    Awesome. This gem also does the trick: The sky is blue. The grass is green. All is calm. All is serene. Stopped an axe murder or two.

    2 replies

    If you sharpened it in the same way as a knife, it will dull quickly. The blade of an ax should be sharpened at a more obtuse angle then a knife.