Deep Breathing Exercises For Anxiety

Deep Breathing Exercises For Anxiety

OVERVIEW

Deep breathing, is the first step in controlling anxiety and gaining relaxation.  How someone breaths can affect on how they deal with anxiety, stress, and pain.  In order to breathe deep, the breath itself, must be understood.

 

CHECK YOUR BREATHING

  1. Place one hand on the chest and the other on the stomach, just below the rib cage.
  2. Does the chest hand move the most, or the stomach hand?
  3. Depending on which hand moves the most, will decipher if the person is a chest breather or a diaphragm breather. 

 

Calm The Mind
Calm The Mind

WHAT IS DEEP BREATHING?

The two types of breathers are summarized as:

Chest Breather:  When stressed or anxious, shallow breathing is more common.  The body tenses up and overworks the muscles, with the shoulders, neck, and upper body becoming rigid.

Diaphragm Breather:  This is the best kind of breathing for the body and mind.  Relaxing the body and the muscles can control pain, anxiety and stress.

 

DEEP BREATHING TECHNIQUE?

Deep breathing is a technique that must be practiced, in order to prevent bad habits.  Beneath the lungs is the diaphragm, and for this to work properly, it is essential to breathe deep into the lungs.  Increasing the oxygen will push on the diaphragm and enlarge the belly.  This will help force out the carbon dioxide.

 

DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES TAKE PRACTICE

Lay on the back and tense as many muscles as possible.  Start with tensing up the feet, then legs, buttocks and torso.  Last of all, tense your shoulders and facial muscles.  Once all of the muscles are tense, relax them one by one, from the feet upwards.  Do this process three times so the body is fairly relaxed.

 

NOW THE BODY IS READY FOR DEEP BREATHING

Take deep, calm, slow breaths, in through the nose and out the mouth.  Do this until it feels natural.  Now concentrate on the belly, blowing it up like a big balloon, then watching it slowly deflate during exhale.  Do this several times and notice how a clam feeling washes over the body.

 

COUNTING MAY HELP DEEP BREATHING

Counting may help to concentrate and regulate the breath.  Count in for five seconds and exhale out for same duration.  Make sure the belly rises up and down, while trying not to lift the chest and shoulders.

 

FEELING DIZZY

If feeling lightheaded, stop and slow down.  Dizziness comes from breathing too quickly and aggressively.  Try and do these exercises first thing in the morning and last thing at night, whilst lying in bed.

Calm The Body
Calm The Body

DEEP BREATHING ON THE GO

With practice, deep breathing becomes easier.  After mastering lying down and deep breathing, pick a quiet moment in the day, like a coffee or bathroom break and try these exercises standing up.

 

  • Stand up
  • Place one hand on the chest
  • Place the other hand on the diagram, below the rib cage
  • Count in for five, watching the belly expand
  • Exhale for five
  • If feeling dizzy, slow down
  • Steady ones’ balance by holding on to a ledge, table etc. waist height.
  • Do these exercises at least five times a day 

 

TAKE TIME FOR A DEEP BREATH

The day can be hectic, so set the smartphone reminder every two hours.  Go to a quiet place and breath.  Getting into a routine will help switch to the deep breathing exercises easily.

 

CONCENTRATE ON RYTHMN

Moving fast, suffering from pain, having bouts of anxiety may all change the breath to short shallow moments.  Stop and concentrate on the rhythm.  When taking a yoga class, there is a particular focus on the breath. This technique should also be mastered in everyday situations, when anxiety strikes.  It will help bring the focus back to the deep breath, controlling the rhythm, to stabilize the anxiety.

 

BREATHING WHILE WALKING

To most, breathing and walking are natural occurrences.  How about deep breathing combined walking?  This too is achievable and will actually benefit the body by increasing the oxygen supply.  Resist holding the breath whilst moving and learn to control it with practice.

 

WALKING IN RHYTHMN

Do this by the rhythm of the steps working with the breath.  For example, breath out for three steps and in for two steps.  Find the rhythm that suits a personal comfort level, and this tempo will soon become natural.

 

DEEP BREATHING AND PANIC ATTACKS

Hyperventilating is an obvious sign of a panic attack.  It can come on suddenly, with the person experiencing other symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Sweats
  • A feeling of choking
  • Light-headed
  • confusion

 

DEEP BREATHING EXERCISE DURING A PANIC ATTACK

Remember to deep breathe to regulate and control the breath.  It will help calm the adrenalin in the body.

 

  1. Hyperventilating may cause dizziness, so sit down.
  2. Place one hand on the chest and the other on the diaphragm, as previously mentioned.
  3. Close the eyes, which may help focus.
  4. Breath in through the nose for four seconds and exhale through the mouth for four.  This can increase to five counts, for in and out breath, once control is back.

 

After completing the deep breathing exercises, if there is still a feeling of panic or a tight pain in the chest, it is imperative to get checked out by a medical professional.

 

DEEP BREATHING HELPS EVERYONE

Learning to deep breathe helps keep anxiety under control, as well as benefiting other areas of our lives from exercise, child birth, or pain control.

 

OXYGEN

Increasing oxygen through deep breathing, gets more oxygen into the blood and therefore helps the muscles and brain work at full capacity.

 

LACK OF OXYGEN

All of these symptoms can be controlled by deep breathing.  Following simple exercises and having them in an everyday routine will help. Using the deep breath technique, whenever anxiety is present, will help regulate a heartbeat, increase oxygen, and focus the mind on a positive place.

 

When someone is anxious, they often start taking shallow breaths.  The blood is temporarily diverted away from the stomach or muscles, and it may cause nausea, a feeling of indigestion, or palpitations.

 

The body is in panic mode when there is high anxiety, with sweating being a common symptom, in an attempt to cool it down.

 

PRACTICE EVERYDAY

Try to deep breathe everyday.  If it is difficult to be self disciplined in the practice, join a group, where they habitually deep breathe.  Why not try yoga or Thai Chi for a natural approach in an organized environment?

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