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Breathing Exercises to Help With Surrender

Many people have trouble describing what surrender feels like. In the beginning, it may be a sense of giving up and letting somebody else take over your life, such as when you decide you're going to drug treatment. Some people don’t find it easy to surrender in recovery and have to remind themselves to do so on a daily basis. Breathing exercises can help you learn to be in the moment and calm down with the world that is around you.

Not sure about belly breathing techniques? Here are a few to try:

  • Meditative Belly Breathing: Lay down on the ground in a room that you have to yourself. You may want to use a yoga mat to be comfortable. For this exercise, you’ll be focusing on the center of your body, which occurs near your belly button. Lay with your legs straight and your head propped up gently on a pillow. As you lay there, pay attention to the outside of your body and take in the sights and smells. Make sure to listen and feel what’s going on around you. As you breathe, take in the air slowly until you feel your belly fill with air. Exhale slowly and feel the air leave your lungs. Continue to pay close attention to the sensations in your body. Repeat this breathing for at least five minutes, until you feel safe. (Set a cell phone timer if you can.)
  • Letting Go With Belly Breathing: Once you’re comfortable with belly breathing, you can use this technique to let go, i.e. surrender, some of the things that you have been wasting your energy on. Think about one of the things that you worry about during the day, or any negative emotions you feel are holding you down. As you inhale, think about those painful feelings. Do they feel heavy? Do you feel weighed down? Let yourself just sit like that for a moment, letting the heaviness climb over your body all the way to your toes. Now it’s time to exhale. As you exhale, let your lungs expel that weight from you. Continue to inhale, focusing on your breathing and letting the weight leave your body. Inhale those weighty feelings, exhale and let them go. That’s what surrender is about!

Surrender is a practice, not a skill or trade. You’ll let go of many things throughout your recovery. You’ll learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Many people, however, find that practicing breathing excercises helps them visualize letting go. These types of exercises can also help you calm down when you’re feeling anxious or angry. There are many other types of breathing exercises if you do a search on Youtube. Take what you need and leave the rest.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love has a problem with drugs or drinking, help is available! The first step is admitting you have a problem and taking steps to get help. Get in touch to learn more about what our programs offer and how we can help. Contact us at 619-363-4767.



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Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

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