Three Breathing Exercises To Calm Anxiety
The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as ‘relaxing breath’, involves breathing in for four seconds, holding the breath for seven seconds, and exhaling for eight seconds. This breathing pattern aims to reduce anxiety or help people get to sleep.
Bumble Bee Breath
This technique has been used for thousands of years for calming the mind.
How it works:
- Relax your shoulders
- Close your throat slightly so you can hear your breath when you breathe in
- Cover your ears with your thumbs and your eyes with your fingers
- Keep your lips closed but lightly and your teeth slightly apart with your jaw relaxed and breathe out slowly making a long, low humming sound
- Make your exhalation long and smooth
- Repeat 5-10 times
The most popular breathing exercise for anxiety: belly breathing also known as diaphragmatic. This exercise is especially effective when having panic or an anxiety attack. Also, if you find yourself feeling anxious or hyper-ventilating you can start belly breathing immediately and it will help you feel in control fast.
How it works:
- Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Make sure your shoulders are down and relaxed. In this exercise, your stomach should expand, but your chest should rise very little. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest so you can feel how you are breathing.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you blow air out, purse your lips slightly, but keep tongue and jaw relaxed.
- Repeat this breathing exercise for several minutes. Make your outgoing breath as long and smooth as you can. The out breath is the key to relaxation so give it your full attention and practice breathing out in a long slow controlled breath.