Take a Deep Breath: 12 Seconds to a Calmer You

The next time you feel your anxiety rise, there’s a simple exercise you can put into practice to calm yourself.

Whether you’re dealing with intense deadlines at work or uncooperative children at home, deep breathing helps you refocus your energy before you snap and say or do something you might regret.

This video demonstrates a simple, 12-second breathing technique.

If you can’t watch right now, it’s as easy as:

  1. Inhale for a count of four seconds, imagining your belly filling with air like a balloon.
  2. Exhale slowly for counts five through 12.
  3. Repeat as necessary.

Try it. Don’t you feel more relaxed?

Use it whenever stress pops up and start incorporating it into your daily routine as a way to lower your overall stress levels. Pairing the breathing exercise with activities you routinely perform is a great way to make it a healthy habit.

How do you deal with stress in your day-to-day life? Share your tips by leaving a comment below.

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Editor’s note: This video is part of a research project conducted by the University of Michigan School of Public Health, led by Dr. Daniel Eisenberg, with funding provided by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. The video mentions an employee assistance program – talk to your employer’s human resources representative to see what’s available at your workplace.  

Photo credit: Andrew Imanaka


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