Easy-to-do Breathing Exercises to Calm Your Mind and Anxiety

Breathing Exercises
18 Mar, 2021

Despite knowing that breathing is fundamental to life, we do not give it much thought, mainly because it just happens, and we don’t usually need to think about it. However, in times of panic, stress, or anxiety, it becomes crucial to pay close attention to our breathing to relax by getting rid of such negative feelings.

You might not know this, but anxiety can affect breathing, and breathing can influence anxiety feelings.

Anxiety-Induced Breathing Problems

While anxiety mostly includes rapid breathing and fast heart rate, anxiety symptoms will vary with each individual. Some other symptoms of anxiety are restlessness, lost focus, and sleep deprivation, etc.

The main symptoms may range from minor to severe; you might only have a few. However, one of the most common symptoms is that you start breathing rapidly as soon as you are exposed to an anxiety-inducing situation.

In case you have breathing issues and you know it is because of your anxiety, here are some breathing techniques that can help you feel better and alleviate anxiety symptoms.

1. Exhale Longer

Exhaling is linked to our parasympathetic nervous system that directly impacts our body’s ability to calm down and relax.

Try exhaling all the air instead of inhaling deep breathes.

Try extending the exhaling time; for example, if you take four seconds to inhale, then take six seconds to exhale.

Perform this exercise for two to five minutes every day.

You can do this while sitting, lying, standing, or in any position comfortable for you.

2. Follow The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

This technique is typically used to soothe down a fast-beating heart. It makes your mind and body regulate breaths as you count them; this helps your mind eliminate worries.

This can be done while sitting or lying down; what matters the most here is your comfort.

Exhale completely through your mouth. Once your lungs become empty, close your mouth and inhale deep breaths through your nose, and count to four in your mind.

As soon as you reach the count – four, hold your breath inside for seven seconds.                        Take eight seconds to exhale fully through your mouth.

You may practice this exercise four times. With continuous effort, you can reach up to eight breaths per session.

3. Practice Abdomen Breathing

For this easy exercise, you need to lie down on the floor or bed, keeping pillows beneath your head and knees. Or else, you can sit in a chair with leaving your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed and your knees bent.

Place your hands, one on your chest and another on your stomach (a little above your belly bottom).

Breathe in using your nose while ensuring your stomach rises. Here, your chest needs to remain still.

Now exhale using your mouth while taking help from your stomach muscles to push air out.

Try doing this three to four times for not more than 10 minutes a day. This will help you make it a habit automatically. This might be tough at first, or you might also feel tired in the beginning if you have never done that before. However, continuous practice will make things easier for you.

4. Breath Focus

When you take slow breaths and focus on the same, it can help reduce anxiety. You can perform this technique while sitting or lying down in a comfortable, quiet place.

Take a deep breath slowly through your nose.

Exhale however you like.

All while doing this numerous times, pick a word (for instance, safe, calm, bliss) to focus on and vocalize it when you exhale.

Now imagine your inhale washing over your soul like a gentle, magical wave.                          Imagine your exhale taking negative, upsetting energy and thoughts away from you.

If you lose focus, slowly get your concentration back to your breaths and word.

It is recommended to practice this daily for up to 20 minutes, whenever you can.

5. Try Lion’s Breath

This practice involves exhaling forcefully, and to try it:

Simply sit down on the floor, cross your ankles, and stay relaxed.

Now while stretching out your arms, including your fingers, bring your hands to your knees.

Breath in through your nose.

Breathe out through your mouth, vocalizing ‘ha.’

While exhaling, you need to open your mouth as wide as possible, take out your tongue, and stretch it down as far as you can.

During the exercise, try putting your focus on the center of your forehead.

Relax your face muscles when you inhale again.

Repeat up to six times and change your ankles’ cross once done three times.

6. Guided Meditation

People use guided meditation techniques to reduce anxiety. You can also practice this;

Sit in a peaceful, dark, cool, and comfortable place and relax.

Listen to calming recordings (for instance, music or chants) while steadying your breaths.

Guided meditation recordings help you visualize a calmer reality where no stress exists.

This can also help you get more control over intrusive thoughts that may lead to anxiety.

The Takeaway

Anxiety is a natural part of our body’s response to threats or danger, making it common for everyone to experience at one time or another. Breathing exercises are some of the best ways to address anxiety issues. Most exercises discussed above are easy to perform, and you can do them anywhere.

If you often experience anxiety or panic attacks, you should first try following one or more breathing techniques in order to determine if your symptoms are alleviated or not.

If your anxiety becomes severe, you must see a doctor and discuss your symptoms to find suitable treatments. With the right advice, you can fight anxiety and panic. Get expert medical guidance from experienced and reliable primary care providers at Central Valley Medical Providers.

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