RELAXATION AND BREATHING TECHNIQUES
Below are just two examples of the many relaxation and breathing techniques which are available.
This is a great exercise for mothers which combines both muscle relaxation and slow breathing in one short exercise and can be done while feeding.
In fact it is a good strategy to practice this whenever you are feeding the baby – this ensures it is being practiced regularly.
To start make sure you are sitting in a comfortable chair with your back straight and both feet on the ground.
1. First, bring your attention to your forehead. Raise your eyebrows a couple of times and make sure you are not frowning.
2. Now bring your attention down to your mouth and slightly open it allowing your tongue to gently rest wherever it is comfortable.
3. Next, focus on your shoulders and give them a roll – feel them relax.
4. If you are not feeding the baby take your attention to your arms relaxed on the arm rests and gently shake them making sure they are floppy. If you are feeding the baby miss this step.
5. Let your attention now travel down your body, feel the chair supporting you under your butt and thighs and down to your knees.
6. Have your knees slightly apart and loosely shake them a couple of times to make sure there is no tension. Feel the floor under your feet.
7. Now focus on your breathing – breathing in through the nose and breathing out through your mouth, calmly and evenly.
After about 30 seconds of focusing on your breathing ask yourself does your breathing feel easy or hard?
If it still feels hard then repeat the exercise from step 1. Hopefully your breathing is regular and easy and you are feeling more relaxed. Stay in this position for another minute.
Steps to slow breathing
1. lie down on a flat surface
2. place one hand on your stomach, and the other hand on your chest.
3. breath in slowly and try to make your stomach rise a little
4. Hold your breath for a second breathe out slowly and let your stomach go back down.
It is important to practice either of these techniques as many times as possible when you are not anxious (at least 4 x per day).
Like any skill it takes practice before it can be effective.