Try this deep breathing tip to reduce stress

Try this deep breathing tip to reduce stress

Between the hustle and bustle of the weeks before and after the holidays, shorter days, and fewer opportunities to see the sun, our mental health can certainly take a hit.

Dr. Gabrielle Roberts, a psychologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital, offers a quick tip to help you reset. It’s called five-finger breathing.

“There are so many benefits to taking good, deep breaths throughout the day,” she says. “Five-finger breathing is a great, quick way to really focus on your breathing and reap those benefits.”

Here’s what you do:
  • Hold one of your hands out in front of you, spreading your fingers apart.
  • With the pointer finger of your other hand, begin tracing each of your fingers, starting at the bottom of your thumb.
  • As you trace up your thumb, inhale slowly and deeply.
  • As you trace down your thumb, slowly exhale. Continue that pattern as you trace each of your fingers.

Once you’ve completed tracing your entire hand, Dr. Roberts recommends repeating the exercise as many times as you want. This breathing exercise allows you to relax and feel a sense of calmness.

“Taking a break in your day to practice five-finger breathing is an easy way to reduce stress and feel refreshed amid the business of life.”

If you are struggling to manage your anxiety, it’s important to talk about it with your doctor who can help you find additional resources.

Are you trying to find a pediatrician? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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About the Author

Holly Brenza
Holly Brenza

Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator on the content team at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.