6 Breathing Exercises That Can Help Your Anxiety
Breathing is often associated with our well-being, and because this is essential, there are X types of breathing exercises that can help your anxiety. When we practice proper breathing, our bodies appropriately eliminate carbon dioxide.
But what happens when we don’t breathe correctly? Improper breathing can lead to panic attacks, anxiety, fatigue, and other emotional disturbances. That is why practicing proper breathing must be done every day.
What are the different types of breathing exercises that can help your anxiety?
Anxiety can be crippling to many of us. When anxiety attacks, you cannot function the way you used to. And who wants to be crippled with anxiety all the time? Not you, of course.
If you ever feel like having a panic attack, try these breathing exercises to help relieve your anxieties and promote proper breathing.
1. Alternate Nostril Breathing
Also known as nodi sodhana, alternate nostril breathing involves blocking one nostril as you breathe through the other. All you need to do is alternate each nostril as you inhale and exhale in a regular pattern.
You can block your nostril using your pointer and middle finger while the other fingers are left extended. It is also known as Vishnu mudra in yoga. To practice this breathing exercise, you need to find a comfortable place to sit and maintain your posture while breathing through alternating nostrils.
One cycle of alternate nostril breathing includes ten breaths. Try your best to push through one process for your anxiety to disappear. If you ever feel light-headed, take your time to pause and take a break. Once you feel better, you can stop.
2. Belly Breathing
Studies show that 30 minutes of belly breathing daily can do wonders for your anxieties. Belly breathing is also known as abdominal breathing.
This practice is done by placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly or below the rib cage. To do belly breathing, you must allow your stomach to relax without forcing it. Breathe through your nose slowly.
Allow the air to move into your nose as you feel it go down inside you. Feel your stomach rise with your hand, fall inward, and exhale through pursed lips. The hand that you placed on your chest should remain in position as you do.
Practicing belly breathing at least three times a day for at least 10 minutes can help to relieve any emotional stress.
3. Box Breathing
Box breathing is one of the most straightforward breathing exercises that you can do. What box breathing is simply breathing to the rhythm or beat. If you have done this, you are already familiar with box breathing.
To practice box breathing, you must exhale to a count of four. Then hold your lungs empty as you count for a four again. Inhale to another count of four.
As you do this, hold the air in as you count to four. Exhale and start another pattern.
4. Mindful Breathing
The practice of mindful breathing is often used in meditations. It involves focused breathing and bringing your attention to the present without letting your mind drift off to the past or future.
It is choosing a calming focus, repeatedly using a positive word or phrase as you inhale and exhale quietly.
You can always take a deep breath whenever you find your mind drifting. As you do, take a deep breath and return your attention to the present.
5. Pursed-Lip Breathing
Another simple breathing exercise that you can do anywhere is pursed-lip breathing. This breathing technique relieves anxiety, especially in patients with lung conditions like COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or emphysema.
To do pursed-lip breathing, find a comfortable position and allow your neck and shoulders to relax. Inhale through your nostrils for at least two seconds as you keep your mouth closed.
Pucker your lips as you exhale through your mouth for four seconds. Make sure to keep your breathing slow and steady as you breathe out. Practicing this breathing exercise at least five times a day will help alleviate your anxieties in no time.
6. Resonance or Coherent Breathing
Resonance breathing is another exercise that can reduce your anxiety. To do this, you must lie down and close your eyes.
Breathe through your nose gently with your mouth closed. Count up to six seconds but do not fill your lungs with air.
Exhale for six seconds as you allow your breath to slowly and gently leave your body without pressuring it. Continue to practice this breathing for ten minutes and add a few minutes until you feel better.
Having a panic attack in the middle of the day or while working is not a pleasant feeling. But now that you know the different types of breathing exercises that can help your anxiety, best to practice them daily.
Be sure to pay attention to your body and be mindful of how your anxiety affects your everyday life. If your stress is not relieved after practicing these exercises, it is best to seek medical attention immediately for a proper diagnosis.