Breathing exercises to reduce anxiety

Breathing exercises to reduce anxiety

Simple breathing exercises that reduce anxiety can be done in the comfort of your own home.

Breathing exercises to reduce anxiety

Slow your breathing

Deep breathing is one of the most effective exercises to reduce anxiety, as it instantly oxygenates the blood and stills the mind. When the panicky feelings of anxiety arise, inhale fully, hold your breath for just a couple seconds and exhale fully. This stops the hyperventilation that is common when anxious feelings arise and also slows down your pulse and thought process.

Resistance straw breathing

This simple technique utilizes a common straw to focus the breath and force it to slow down. When breath becomes rapid and anxiety starts to rise, put the straw between your lips and draw air through it. This causes an immediate slowing of the breathing cycle as intake of air is limited. A straw is also easily portable or readily available in most restaurants and cafes, so it's a convenient ally when combating anxiety. When breathing through the straw, remember to take deep, slow breaths.

Breath moving

This exercise uses the imagination as well as breathing exercises to focus and calm the mind and reduce anxiety. On each breath, imagine the air being funnelled into a particular part of your body. Of all the breathing exercises that reduce anxiety, breath moving works the most directly on the mind by forcing it to concentrate on imagery. This, combined with the deep breathing itself, often stops anxious thoughts from multiplying.

Using these three tips, people prone to anxiety and stress will be able to control their mental state without medication. Just remember to relax, breath deeply and work on directing your mind elsewhere.

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