Ways to relax

Belly breathing

What it is and how it can help?

Belly breathing is one of the best and easiest ways to relax. Belly breathing is also called abdominal breathing.

Breathing is an important part of relaxation, because our bodies need a constant supply of air to work smoothly. When you breathe, you can use two different ways to breathe in: chest breathing and abdominal breathing.

Chest breathing is the way that we normally breathe. It is shallow, and can be fast. When you are stressed, your chest breathing becomes even faster. You might even feel short of breath. Shallow breathing makes your heart work harder to transport oxygen everywhere in your body. This extra effort can lead to other changes in your body like tense muscles and sweating.

Belly breathing is all about breathing slowly and deeply, where air is drawn deep into the lungs and released. By breathing slowly and deeply, your body will receive enough oxygen and you can start to relax.

Learning how to do belly breathing

To learn how to do belly breathing, check out the animation below.

Practice tips

• After you have learned to do belly breathing while lying down, practice it the next few times while sitting up in a chair.
• After that, practice belly breathing standing up with your eyes open.
• Practice your breathing exercises several times each day. If you practice one to three times a day, you will learn quickly.
• Belly breathing can be done anywhere, anytime, without anyone knowing that you are doing it.

Remember, the best way to become good at belly breathing is to keep practicing. The better you are at belly breathing, the faster you’ll be able to relax when you’re feeling stressed or having pain.


Stress and pain can cause you to tense your muscles and hold your body in unusual ways. You and the people around you may not always notice this tension. The tension makes muscles tired because they are always held tight, instead of being loose and relaxed.

Tension can be different for different people. Some people have tension in their neck. Some clench their teeth, and others may feel the tension in their stomach.

Relaxation is a way to relax muscles all over your body by learning how to loosen them. The next few pages will teach you how to do this. First, you will learn how to use relaxation with tension. This involves tensing and then relaxing muscles in different parts of your body, and feeling them relax more and more each time. Next, you will learn how to relax without tensing your muscles. Once you are good at this, you can practice mini-relaxation exercises that will help you to relax quickly.


Welcome to the Taking Charge: Managing JIA Online Program! In this section you will learn what to expect in the program, how to get started and how to set goals to better manage JIA.

JIA stands for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Find out what causes JIA, the different types of JIA and how it will affect you now and in the future.

Diagnosing JIA may be difficult as joint pain and swelling may be a part of many different illnesses. Diagnosis of JIA typically includes a physical exam, blood tests and imaging studies.

Pain, stiffness, and tiredness or fatigue, are common symptoms of JIA. These symptoms can lead to difficulties with participating in school and sports activities, and enjoying time with your friends. Learn about pain, fatigue, and stiffness, how to manage symptoms and how these symptoms can cause stress.

There are several strategies you can use to help you cope with pain, stress, and sleep problems. These include relaxation, distraction, and managing your thoughts. In this section, learn more about how each of these strategies work.

When you know about your medications, you can talk to your doctor about them and make good choices for yourself. Find out about the different types of JIA medications, how they work, common side effects, and the importance of talking to your doctor about your medication plan.

Did you know that there are many other therapies that you can use to manage JIA symptoms? They can help to prevent complications so that you can do all the things you want to do. In this section, learn more about physical, occupational, and psychological therapies; maintaining healthy nutrition; surgical options for JIA, and more.

Your role in making decisions about your treatment plan is very important. Your health-care team and other members of your support system are available to help you make these decisions. In turn, they can help you to manage your JIA.

Whether you have JIA or not, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Find out how to stay healthy and active, learn about puberty and relationships, healthy body image, and making healthy lifestyle choices.

Sometime between the ages of 18 to 22, you most likely will transition from your pediatric rheumatologist to the adult health care setting. At that time, there are a number of things you, your family, and your health-care team can do to help make this change go smoothly.