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Breath First Aid

If you're stressed out and want a simple method to try immediately, to hopefully find some quick relief, check out the recommendations on this page.

Afterwards, when you've slowed down, take a look at the longer introduction to breathing and to meditation methods at the links below:

One effective way to reduce stress quickly is to get your body and mind grounded into the breath. Read below for quick, simple methods for concentrating on your breath.

Set up your body
  • Find a place that is as quiet as possible in the moment

  • Sit in a comfortable posture, with your back straight

  • Check that your whole body is supported: hands, legs, and feet should all be supported, not hanging in the air - you should work as few muscles as needed to hold your posture.

  • Close your eyes half-way and soften your gaze - don't stare at anything but just take in the whole visual field

  • Try one of the breath methods described below, and do it repeatedly for at least a few minutes, then see how you feel.

Box Breathing (aka 4x4 Breathing)
  • Breath in deeply while you count silently to 4 in the mind

  • Hold your breath for a count of 4

  • Exhale strongly for count of 4

  • Hold your breath again for a count of 4

4-7-8 Breathing
  • Breath in deeply while you count to 4 silently in the mind

  • Hold your breath for a count of 7

  • Exhale fully for a county of 8

More online resources

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