Breathlessness and relaxation

Reducing stress and tension can help you feel more relaxed and help your breathing. Relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and help you manage your condition. In this section different relaxation techniques are described. 

Rectangle Breathing technique

Rectangle Breathing can be used to slow down and help control your breathing. Using the sides of the rectangle as you breathe in and out can help if you are feeling worried about something, your breathing is hard to control or you feel short of breath.

Breathe in for the short side, out for the long side, in for the short side and out for the long side. It is often recommended to try 4 seconds to breathe in and 6 seconds to breathe out. 

This is a diagram to guide you through Rectangle Breathing. 

Tips for making the most of Rectangle breathing -

  • Doing four cycles of rectangle breathing every morning and evening

  • Rectangles can be seen in most places - picture frames, phones, windows. Look for a rectangle when you are out and about to help you control your breathing.

  • Proactively incorporating rectangle breathing into your day if you know a stressful situation is coming up on your calendar

  • Reducing the time in each step to two or three seconds if you’re having difficulty maintaining the four- six second count (this is especially helpful if you have asthma, allergies or other breathing difficulties)

Please see the video below for a guide to rectangle breathing