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Stress Mastery: The Art of Coping Gracefully by Ph.D. LAUREL BRUCATO, Ph.D. DOMINIC BRUCATO, Ph.D. JUAN R. ABASCAL

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Diaphragmatic Breathing

Any journey that you undertake begins with a first step. The key to any practice of active relaxation is to relearn proper breathing patterns. Breathing slowly, deeply, and regularly is the easiest and most accessible relaxation technique (Loehr & Migdow, 1986). Most of the time you are no doubt oblivious to your breathing patterns. Let's first begin by discovering where you are now. Sit with your back supported, your feet flat on the floor, and your eyes closed. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your diaphragm, the muscle right above your stomach, as you focus on your breathing. Notice the pattern and rhythm of your breath as you breathe in and out. Then take a few deep breaths, noticing as you breathe in and ...

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