Deep Breathing (Smoking Cessation)

Deep breathing is a very useful tool to quit smoking. You can use deep breathing as a coping skill. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Helps cravings pass
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Relieves feelings of tension, anxiety, and nervousness
  • Increases oxygen and blood flow to the brain
  • Improves memory, alertness, problem solving, and decision-making skills

Learning the technique

The 5 steps below teach you how to practice traditional deep breathing:

  1. Take a slow, deep breath through your nose. Breathe in for 3 seconds. Feel your abdomen (belly) expand as you inhale.
  2. Hold the breath for 3 seconds.
  3. Pucker your lips, and exhale through your mouth. Breathe out slowly and evenly for 6 seconds. Feel your abdomen (belly) move inward.
  4. Repeat the first three steps 3 to 5 times to experience the calming effect of deep breathing.
  5. Practice often so you can use deep breathing effectively.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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