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Breathe, baby, breathe.

If you get a chance sometime, watch how babies breathe. See how their bellies expand like little balloons with each in-breath? Pure, uninhibited breathing. Now watch the grownups. See any expanding bellies? Of course not—we’re all too worried about looking trim and fit.

Most people are shallow breathers, meaning they tend to suck in their bellies and raise their shoulders. Deep breathing delivers more oxygen to your body and helps to massage and detoxify our inner organs. Overall, it helps us feel relaxed and calm, increasing our sense of well-being.

Set aside some time each day, or any time you feel anxious or stressed, for deep breathing—with each in-breath, fully expand your lungs while relaxing your belly, allowing it to inflate like a baby’s. Let it all hang out. Release the breath slowly, repeat a few times and feel the stress start to melt away.

Remember, the idea is to chill out, not pass out. If you start to feel light-headed, stop and rest for a few minutes.

Posted: 2/10/08
2/11/08 Next Tip»