3 Easy Breathing Exercises For Anxiety
If you are like me (or so many others in the world), you know how easy it is to be consumed by anxiety. For some, that feeling is overwhelming.
After days, weeks, months, years, or even decades, stress and anxiety may seem like second nature. Living is such a heightened state of stress may seem like the only option.
Here’s a quick exercise, though: try to remember the last time you were relaxed.
Think about the conditions of that experience. Do you remember how you were breathing?
You were likely to be breathing differently than you do when you are working, focusing in class, or even working out. Your lifestyle, activities, amongst other things, can give you some anxiety to an extent.
Staring at television screens, working in high-pressure situations, managing finances or family issues, or “living outside the moment” can all contribute to acute stress. For many, no efforts are regularly maintained to manage that stress.
Anxiety and stress, then, can cloud your mind of what is important in life and contribute to increased frequency of poor decisions (i.e. binge eating, procrastination, excessive sleeping, toxic relationships, etc).
Whether you suffer from severe anxiety or simply occasional bouts, there are several effective and recognized breathing exercises that, when added to a more balanced lifestyle, can play a positive role in improving overall health.
Here we will focus on 3 very helpful (and easy) breathing exercises to reduce your anxiety starting today.
Deep breathing is just as it sounds: inhaling deeply and then exhaling.
Also called “Belly Breathing,” the deep breathing exercise assists in reducing your anxiety when you are stressed or worried. Simply breathing deep from your diaphragm, your abdominal muscles will work well to alleviate your anxiety symptoms.
While this exercise may help lower your blood pressure, it can also assist in relaxing your tense muscles.
Life throws you uncertainty and unpredictable situations that can cause a great deal of anxiousness. The next time you are feeling a strain on your mind and emotions, remember this deep breathing exercise.
Steps To Deep/Belly Breathing:
- Find a comfortable area where you can lie or sit down
- Place one hand on your belly, while the other hand rests on your chest
- Breathing through your nose, take a deep breath
- Let your belly push your hand out as you exhale out your mouth pursing your lips
- Repeat several times or as many times as you are comfortable
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Relaxing your body and mind are two important factors when it comes to anxiety relief. Alternate Nostril Breathing is a great way to achieve less anxiety throughout the day.
Although this is technique is done by yogis, everyone and everyone can attain this breathing exercise when needed.
Alternate Nostril Breathing is a simple method by placing your thumb on your nostril while the other is free to breathe, then alternating between the two several times.
Steps To Alternate Nostril Breathing:
- Find a comfortable seating position
- Place your left hand on your knee
- Press your right thumb to your right nostril and exhale through your left
- Inhale through your left nostril
- Close off your left nostril and exhale through the right
- Inhale through the right
- Repeat naturally up to 5 minutes
What can come with an anxiety attack is a rapid and racing heart beat. Sometimes you notice and become even more stressed and worried that your breathing is “off” and your heart-rate is accelerating.
A special breathing technique that one can practice is called Resonate Breathing.
Resonate Breathing is a slower and more relaxed kind of deep breathing, employing just 3-7 breaths each minute.
The belief is that this practice can have a positive effect on the autonomic nervous system and other body functions.
In result, Resonate Breathing is considered an effective way to completely change the way you were breathing before and drastically reduce your anxiety.
Steps To Resonate Breathing
- Inhale for 4 seconds
- Exhale for 4 seconds
- Inhale for 5 seconds
- Exhale for 5 seconds
- Inhale for 6 seconds
- Exhale for 6 seconds
While breathing exercises alone are not always effective or structured enough to deal with any medical or psychological condition, they are used regularly in coordination with meditation, therapy, and even medication to help reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of unpleasant anxiety attacks.
As always, be sure to consult with your medical and mental health professionals if you have any questions on managing your anxiety or other issues. This website (or any other, for that matter), should be understood at purely informative and in no way should be used to diagnose or treat any issues, regardless of severity.