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Breathing for Stress Management

It can be difficult to take a moment to focus on your breath. Often, our days are filled with running errands, busy work days and looking after others. It is so important to take a moment to slow down and breathe.
The breath is one of the most effective, easiest tools we have to bring balance to the mind, body and spirit. The breath slows down the parasympathetic nervous system so it has a profound impact on the physical body. The focus on the breath also helps our emotional well-being. It allows us to create space to be a neutral non-judgmental observer of our thoughts, and feelings.
*Take a moment right now to close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose, imagining you are inhaling, peace and acceptance.
*Now breathe out through your mouth exhaling stress, tension, and irritation. You can even let it out with a sigh to help release it further, feeling your shoulders drop and your muscles relax with each out breath.
Repeat until you start to feel lighter, calmer and more open to whatever may come your way.
(modified From The Chopra Center)
Try Belly Breathing
Sit or stand in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Place your hands on your belly. Notice your breath, the sound and rhythm. (PAUSE)
Allow your belly to soften, breathe into your belly. Allow your breath to flow naturally at its own pace, as you feel the belly rise and fall.
As you breathe in, say to yourself, “soft”, As you breathe out, say to yourself, “belly.” Allow your belly to soften even more. Let your thoughts come and go. Bring your attention back to “soft” “belly.” 
The intention is only to be aware of your breath and your belly, without judgement towards your body or your thoughts. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to “soft” “belly.”
Try this for at least 5 minutes
(Adapted from Dr James Gordon, Center for Mind Body Medicine)