We all know how to breathe. But when we become hurried or anxious due to our hectic lifestyles, our breathing can become shallow and restricted. We can reduce nervous tension and stress by remembering to breathe from the abdomen.

Breathing deeply with awareness allows the lungs to take in six times more oxygen than normal, which helps purify blood, increase physical vitality and bring about calmness.

Try this breathing tip to access your inner peace: 

1. Find a quiet place where you can comfortably sit or lie down. 

2. Watch the rhythm of your chest, rising and falling with each breathe. 

3. Inhale deeply through the nose in three flowing parts. (If at any point you feel dizzy, stop immediately and breath normally.) As you breathe in, allow your breath to reach all the way to your abdomen. Feel the area expand and the breath rise to the chest, then all the way up to the collarbone area. 

4. Exhale gently and with control, starting from the top of the collarbones. Feel the collarbones lower, the chest relax and the abdomen contract. 

5. Repeat the technique two to three times, and then bring your breathing back to normal.

6. Feel the calm. 

7. Relax for a moment before moving or resuming activity.

–Kellye Davis is a lifestyle correspondent, seminar leader, certified yoga instructor and Level II Reiki healer. She is the author of The Bliss Principle: 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress, Vanguard, 2005. Learn more about her at www.kellyedavis.com.

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