Deep, or diaphragmatic, breathing is a skill that helps in soothing. It focuses on paying attention to the breath by breathing deeply into the belly, creating a balanced flow of air.
Deep breathing fosters regulation and self-soothing. It can be used as an in-the-moment coping strategy for distress, and can make the other skills more meaningful.
Begin by sitting in a comfortable, but alert position with eyes closed or on a fixed point in the room to minimize distraction. Now, taking a moment to notice any thoughts or sensations you may be having, and acknowledge them.
Bringing your attention to your breath; on your next in-breath; trace the air from the point on inhaling and visualize the air as it travels into your lungs, hold it for a moment, and on your out-breath visualizing the air leaving.
On your next in breath, slowly breathe into your diaphragm; [your abdomen and belly should become full with air]. Holding it for a moment, and the letting it go. Repeating this diaphragm breathing until you are not controlling, but noticing your breathing and using your breath as anchor should you get distracted by your thoughts.
Then expanding your attention to your body as whole; visualizing your whole body breathing with each in and out breath