Deep breathing works better when it's done slowly. Slow your breaths down by counting slowly to four as you inhale and again as you exhale. To slow your breaths even more, hold for an additional count of four between in and out breaths.
Children can benefit from deep breathing, too. Teach your child how to breathe deeply by having him lie on his back with a toy on his stomach and practice making the toy rise with each deep breath.
Deep breathing is a great way to trigger your body's relaxation response, but it can take practice to do effectively. Try putting one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach and take a deep breath. Which hand rises when you breathe in? Most people find that the hand on their chest rises. Chest breathing is not the best way to relax. To deep breathe for relaxation, breathe so that the hand on your stomach rises and falls with each breath. This is also known as belly-breathing or diaphragmatic breathing.