4 Breathing exercises to help control your stress or anxiety!

Anxiety Mental Health

4 Breathing exercises to help control your stress or anxiety!

 

Did you know that when you are anxious you take a more shallow breath that comes directly from your chest.

This type of breathing is called thoracic/chest breathing and causes the oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body upset which results in increased heart rate and dizziness. When this happens your body responds by sending a stress signal and is usually why you start to get anxiety and panic attacks.

Practising deep/diaphragmatic breathing can be a really useful tool for when this happens. When you breathe deeply you stimulate your nervous system which regulates your heartbeat, blood flow and breathing.
Deep/diaphragmatic breathing can really help you avoid the "fight or flight" response that occurs when you are in a panicked situation.

I am going to note a few different ways you can practise breathing that will help you when you feel stress or anxiety.


Belly/Diaphragmatic Breathing (My personal favourite!)

1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. (Your chest should not move).
4. Breathe out through pursed lips (lips in an 'O' like you would whistle) - use the hand on your stomach to help push the air out.
5. Repeat this process up to 10 times as needed until you feel much better.

Box Breathing (Another fave)
1. Breathe in slowly for four counts.
2. Hold your breath for 4 counts.
3. Slowly exhale for for counts.
4. Repeat these steps until you feel more relaxed!

4-7-8 Breathing
1. Close your lips together and inhale through your nose for four counts.
2. Hold your breath for a seven counts.
3. Exhale through your mouth making a whoosh shound for eight counts.
4. Repeat until you feel re-centred!

Resonance/Coherent Breathing
1. Lie down and close your eyes.
2. Gently breathe in through your nose with your mouth closed, for 6 counts. (Don’t fill your lungs too full of air)
3. Exhale for 6 counts, allow your breath to leave your body slowly and gently.
4. Continue for up to 10 minutes and notice how to relax and respond.

I hope if you try any of these techniques you find them useful - or if you have any other breathing techniques not mentioned for me to try im always open to give new things a go! 

Sending love and light,

Clare x 


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