3 Easy Breathing Techniques for Easing Anxiety

Anxiety is a universal emotion that arises at various points in life. Employing breathing exercises can effectively manage anxiety and promote optimal function of both mind and body.

3 Simple Breathing Exercises to Reduce your Anxiety
\3 Simple Breathing Exercises to Reduce your Anxiety

Anxiety is a common emotional experience for people across all walks of life, often stemming from physiological reactions to stress. When anxiety arises, regulating your breath can aid in maintaining calmness and focus. Breathing serves as a vital connection between the body and mind, with efforts to improve it invariably influencing one’s mood.

Below are straightforward breathing techniques aimed at promoting relaxation and alleviating tension during periods of stress.

The Invigorating Breath

Also known as The Bellows Breath, this ancient yogic technique is designed to elevate vital energy levels and enhance alertness. It involves rapid inhalations and exhalations through the nose. Ensure that each inhalation and exhalation are of equal duration, while keeping them as short as possible. Aim for three complete cycles of inhaling and exhaling per second. When attempting this technique for the first time, limit the duration to no more than 15 seconds. With subsequent attempts, gradually increase the duration by five-second increments. Whenever you feel the need for a quick energy boost or relief from pressure, turn to this exercise.

The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Technique

To perform this exercise, begin by sitting with your back straight. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound around your tongue. Close your mouth and inhale silently through your nose, counting to four. Hold your breath for a brief moment, then exhale through your mouth again, making the same whooshing sound. Repeat this cycle five times. This exercise can be particularly helpful whenever you sense internal tension rising.

Breath Counting

Breath counting is a common practice in Zen meditation. Find a comfortable seated position with your back straight and your head slightly tilted forward. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, allowing your breathing to return to its natural rhythm without attempting to control it. Begin the exercise by silently counting “one” as you exhale, then count “two” on the next exhale, and continue until you reach “five.” Start counting from “one” again after reaching “five.” Aim to practice this exercise for 10 minutes to manage anxiety and promote optimal function of both mind and body.

In addition to the exercises mentioned above, there are numerous other breathing techniques that can help center the body by synchronizing breath and movement. If you encounter any discomfort or concerns during practice, it’s advisable to consult with your healthcare provider.