Hi. My name is Carol Squires and I’m a social
worker with the National Institutes of Health. Today we’re going to be doing deep breathing
exercises that hopefully will be helping with your anxiety. First, what I want you to do is find a relaxing
location, and sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Make sure that your arms and your legs are
uncrossed. Sit up straight enough to give your diaphragm
room to expand. Now I want you to pay attention to the rhythm
of your natural breathing, and tell yourself to “let go of all thoughts and feelings for
now.” We’re going to practice this. First I want you to inhale through your nose
to the count of four, hold your breath for a moment, and then exhale slowly through pursed
lips to the count of four. Breathing should be slow, deep and regular. Let’s try it. Breath in. One, two, three, four. Hold. Now breath out. One, two, three, four. Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out. Again, we want you to repeat this exercise
several times until you begin to feel yourself “letting go.” You may feel a slight tingling or warmth in
your hands and feet. That’s a sign that there is increased blood
flow to your extremities. Breath 3 or 4 deep breaths like this to return
your body to a state of calm. Next we want you to scan your body by progressing
through the muscle groups from head to toe, and determine where you are experiencing tension. Every time you inhale and exhale, allow yourself
to become even more relaxed, paying attention to the areas that are most constricted. For example, check your forehead and eyes. If you feel tension, say to yourself, “forehead
let go,” or “eyes let go.” As you progress through each muscle group,
periodically recheck your breathing to make sure it is slow, deep and regular. Now we will work our way through the muscle
groups. First, check your forehead and your eyes. Breath in and breath out. Feeling the tension starting to drain form
those areas. Next we want to go to the Jaw-chin-cheeks. Feeling the tension starting to drain form
those areas. Next we want to go to the neck and shoulders
muscles. Breath in. And breath out. Feeling the tension draining from those areas
as you continue to visualize going down your body. Next, envision your upper arms and your lower
arms. Breath in and breath out. Next is your chest. Breath in and breath out. Let’s scan down to your stomach. And your abdomen. Let’s breath in and breath out. You can feel your muscle tension draining
from your head, your neck and your shoulders. Breath in and breath out. Next we are going to your upper back and lower
back. Feel those muscles relax by breathing in
and breathing out. Travel down to your hips and buttocks area. Breath in. And breath out. Travel down to your thighs. Release. Breath in and breath out. Travel down to your lower legs. Breath in and breath out. Last are your feet. Feel the tension leave your body by breathing
in and breathing out. When you are finished, When you are finished,
quickly rescan your body starting at the head and working down to the feet. Wherever you spot tension, just release it. This is a technique to use just before or
during a procedure perhaps. At that time, take five minutes if you can
spare it. Quickly scan your body as outlines above utilizing
deep breathing. Focus on each area where you are tense and
say, “I am lose and relaxed.”