Mini Relaxation Exercises
Mini relaxation exercises are focused breathing techniques that help reduce anxiety and tension immediately. Your breath is with you at every moment in time. You can do a mini with your eyes open or closed. You can do a mini at any place, at any time, and no one will know you are doing it.
1. Count very slowly to yourself from 10 down to 0, one number on each out breath. Thus, breathe in, and on your first out breath, say 10 to yourself. With the next out breath say 9, working your way down to 9. When you get to 0 notice how you feel.
2. As you breathe in count slowly up to 4, as you breathe out count slowly back down to 1. Thus, as you breathe in you say quietly to yourself 4, 3, 2, 1, and breathe out. Do this several times.
3. This is counting the space between the in breath and the out breath. Thus, after each in breath, pause and count 1, 2, 3; after each out breath, pause again and count 1, 2, 3. Do this several times.
4. Thch Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist uses this as his favorite mini. On the in breath you think, “I am”, and on the out breath you think, “at peace”. Repeat this several times. This is also an excellent mini to use while walking.
5. Square breathing. Visualize a square. On the in breath, visualize a vertical line and then a horizontal line, part of the square. On the out breath you visualize another vertical line and horizontal line, completing the square.
Good times to do a mini:
While stuck in traffic, when on hold during a phone call, while waiting in your doctors’ office, when someone says something that bothers you, in the dentists’ chair, when you feel overwhelmed by all you need to do, while standing in a line, when in pain, in the night when you can’t sleep, etc., etc.
The only time Mini’s don’t work is when you don’t do them.