Effective breathing techniques for anxiety
Anxiety triggers many unpleasant reactions in the body. These reactions can be overcome with appropriate breathing techniques for anxiety which help produce endorphins to calm you down. When it comes to breathing techniques to calm you down mastering the right approach is critical since breathing through your chest may not do you much good. Shallow breathing only succeeds in upsetting the stability of oxygen and carbon dioxide which is critical to ensure you are in a relaxed state.
The following breathing techniques for anxiety will help to calm you down:
1. Abdominal breathing
This technique is aimed at shifting breathing from upper chest to the abdominal area. You will require a relaxed environment where you will not be disturbed for about 20 minutes. You can opt to set an alarm if you do not want to lose track of time.
Sit comfortably and raise your ribcage to expand your chest. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Take note of how your abdomen and upper chest are moving as you breathe. Concentrate on your breath and try to gently breathe in and out through the nose. Your upper chest and stomach should be still; this allows the diaphragm to work more efficiently with your abdomen rather than your chest.
2. Deep breathing for relaxation
This is one of the most effective breathing techniques for anxiety or stress. Taking deep breaths has a soothing effect on the body. It is not yet clear why deep breathing tends to calm down your body; however there is a possibility that controlled breathing coupled with a few minutes away from the stressful situation offers you an opportunity to relax in a way that is often not possible in the heat of the moment.
Deep breathing for relaxation includes several strategies, the simplest involves sitting in a chair with your back straight while the arms rest on the armrests. You take a deep slow breath through your nose which lasts up to 5 or 6 seconds. You hold for a few seconds and then breath out slowly through the mouth taking about 7 seconds to exhale. To be effective you need to repeat this process at least 10 times.
Deep breathing can be a difficult strategy during the initial sessions but with time and practice it becomes much easier. With time you will find that the deep breaths calm your body and mind by the 10th breath and lower your blood pressure as well.
The above breathing techniques for anxiety require patience and practice so do not expect them to work right away. The more you keep practising them the better you become. This will make it easier for you to calm yourself down during panic or anxiety attacks.