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Relaxed Breathing

Relaxed breathing is a technique used to reduce physiological arousal and can be an excellent grounding technique. Relaxed or diaphragmatic breathing works by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and therefore promoting relaxation. Clients who are highly aroused or anxious often find it helpful to practice relaxed breathing as it allows their breathing to become slower and deeper. This information handout describes the benefits of relaxed breathing and gives simple instructions for effective diaphragmatic breathing.

Relaxed Breathing is an information sheet with clear instructions for carrying out diaphragmatic (relaxed) breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation, and is an excellent first-line soothing or grounding technique. Although instructions are given for breathing to a counted rhythm it can be helpful to guide clients not to become too focused on breathing in the ‘right’ way – as long as breathing becomes slower and deeper it tends to be helpful.

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