Exhaling longer than you inhale can slow down the heart rate and turn on the relaxation response. For example, if you breathe in for 4 seconds then breathe out for 6 seconds. Our audio file +2 Breathing (Respiración Extendida) can help you practice.
Tip: If comfortable, breathe in and out through the nose. This can increase your breath capacity.
Note: If exhaling 2 counts longer than you inhale doesn’t feel comfortable, try 1 count or a brief pause. For example, if you are grasping for the next in-breath it may be a sign from your body to try something different. The breath changes day-to-day so find what you need.