Breathe to calm down: three exercises from a psychologist

Ukrainians have been living under constant stress for almost a year. News that takes your breath away, anxiety for loved ones, anger due to power outages. Therefore, being able to calm down on your own and at any time is essential.

And then with these breathing exercises from a psychologist-methodist of the “Unbreakable Mom” program of the joint shift of the “Masha Fund” and the Humanitarian Project “Saving Lives” Olha Kopteva.


“Breathing is our everything,” says psychologist Olha Kopteva. – When a person is stressed, they begin to breathe quickly and intermittently, which leads to oxygen oversaturation. To calm down, you can breathe into a bag, but if it is not at hand, it is suggested to do the following simple exercises.


“3 x 6”

Everything is simple. We inhale to the count of three, apparently to the count of six. You can also inhale to the count of four and exhale on the count of eight. That is, exhalation should be twice as long as inhalation. This is how we lower the oxygen level and calm down.


Square breathing

Another effective practice will help not only even out breathing but also distract the brain from the stress reaction to counting. We inhale for 4 counts, then hold our breath for 4 counts, then exhale in the same way for four counts and hold for four again. Repeat it several times.


“From 10 to 1”

This practice also focuses our attention on the breath. Our task is the same – to count our inhalations and exhalations, just following a different scheme. We breathe and count inhale-exhale – ten, inhale-exhale – nine, inhale-exhale – eight, inhale-exhale – seven, inhale-exhale – six, inhale-exhale – five… And so until one.


About the program:

The “Unbreakable Mom” rehabilitation program was developed by specialists in psychology and post-traumatic syndromes for women and children affected by war. It is a 3-week offline camp, where psychologists work with the project participants, followed by online support for three months. The last two camp shifts of the project were organized by the “Masha Fund” in cooperation with the Humanitarian Project “Saving Lives”.

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