Deep Breathing Exercises for Anxiety
Tips and Techniques
Tip Number 1: Deep Breathing
Breathing deeply can help control the over thinking or over analyzing that is associated with anxiety issues. This is a simple and basic step to help patient to relax their mind and calm their nerves to a great extent. In addition to this, deep breathing helps the person to get rid of the feeling of suffocation that is often experienced by people suffering from panic attacks. Although this seems like a very simple trick, it can do wonders when performed in a proper manner. It is advised to breathe in from the nose slowly and deeply filling your lungs with oxygen and then exhale all the air out from the mouth without any force or hurry. This cycle needs to be repeated for few times and practiced as and when required. This technique helps to improve oxygen levels in the body as well as calm the mind.
Tip Number 2: Conscious/Mindful Breathing
This involves directing one’s attention towards the process of breathing consciously and gradually over time, which helps a person to calm down and settle their thoughts to a considerable extent. For this, a person needs to stand straight and place their hands on their chest at the level of the heart. Next, they need to close their eyes and start focusing on the process of breathing for a while. It is important to retain the breath for a few seconds and then release it gently and slowly. This will help the person to focus their attention on the breathing process and calm their minds effectively.
Tip Number 3: 4-7-8 Style of Breathing
The 4-7-8 exercise, also known as the calming breath, acts as a natural nerve relaxant. This technique involves breathing in for 4 seconds and filling the stomach with oxygen and not the lungs. Place a hand on your stomach and breathe in filling the stomach for four seconds and hold it in for seven seconds in the stomach. Slowly breathe out for eight seconds squeezing your stomach in. Repeat this technique five to six times to acclimatize yourself.
Tip Number 4: Pranayam or Yoga Breathing
As part of a yoga or meditation routine, pranayam is a breathing technique that aids in calming the mind and improves concentration. To practice this, sit comfortably with your hips relaxed and your spine straight. Keep your jaw relaxed, and your eyes closed. With the palm facing up, place your left hand on your left knee with your thumb touching your index finger. Put the tips of your index and middle fingers from your right hand on your forehead, in the space between your brows. Close your left nostril with your ring and little fingers of the right hand and breathe in from your right nose. Then close your right nostril with the thumb of right hand and exhale from the left nostril. Practice this exercise for a few times to get steady and then try indulging in it more often for longer healthier results.
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There is plethora of more techniques for coping with anxiety like lion breath or simhasana, teddy bear breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, pursed lip breathing, resonance breathing, etc. Guided meditation is also are very helpful and relaxing technique to manage anxiety. The above elaborated four tips are my personal tried and tested ones. It may work for some, it may not for others. I haven’t mentioned the timeline of practice as I feel it’s to each to its own. Practice every day or alternate days or as and when required is up to you. What’s important is that you understand your own needs and requirements and figure out something that’s a fit for you.
Anxiety is an unpleasant emotion (at least for most of us). It is a state that creates instant dread and comes unannounced. How ridiculous is that! Feeling lack of control, a lag or lump in the normal functioning, not to forget the palpitations and sweatiness are all signs and symptoms of anxiety. Of course it comes uninvited and if I had it my way I would have let anxiety out of the list of emotions humans feel. Nevertheless, it is what it is. So we can always equip ourselves with strategies and techniques to cope, if not curb. Just remember, it is temporary, will soon fade away and happy emotions will reign.
Emotions should not be repressed. Only regulated. Our mental Wellness Experts at Ganeshaspeaks.com can help you manage your emotions.