If you’ve ever felt trapped by your anxiety, you’re not alone. In fact, the Anxiety and Depression Center of America estimates that 18% of Americans suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. Dealing with anxiety is difficult, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the feeling of anxiety.
But, there are some breathing techniques for anxiety that can help you take control of the moment and better address your anxiety today. Read on to learn more about how you can defeat your anxiety and relax with these helpful breathing techniques for anxiety.
One effective way to reduce feelings of anxiety is by practicing deep breathing. This technique can be especially helpful if you feel an anxiety or panic attack coming on. As you practice deep breathing, you should find that you’re feeling less anxious and calmer by the time you’ve reached your tenth breath.
How To Do It
- Sit in a chair, or on the floor with your back straight and your arms at your sides
- Breathe deeply through your nose, and inhale for about five seconds
- Hold the breath in for three seconds
- Exhale slowly through your mouth
- Repeat this exercise ten times
This technique can be helpful for managing anxiety or panic, and it can also help you to fall asleep more easily. This breathing pattern can help you to refocus yourself, reduce feelings of stress and help calm your mind as it’s racing.
How to Do It
- Adopt your favorite meditation posture. You can sit in a chair, on the floor, or lay down. Do whatever is most comfortable for you
- Inhale through your nose and count to four
- Exhale through your nose and count to four
- Repeat the process until you’re feeling calmer
This is one of the most useful breathing techniques for anxiety, and it’s proven to help reduce blood pressure and reduce your heart rate. This technique takes a bit of practice, so it can be helpful to try it when you’re not feeling stressed or anxious at all. That way, when you are feeling anxious, you’ll have a better understanding of how to use this exercise to your advantage.
How To Do It
- Sit in a chair, or on the floor
- Put one hand on your chest, and the other on your stomach
- Inhale deeply through your nose. As you inhale, feel your diaphragm expand with the hand that’s on your stomach
- Try to take between 6-10 long, deep breaths each minute
- Repeat this exercise for up to ten minutes
This simple meditation exercise is one of the best meditation tips for anxiety. It’s easy to do, even for beginners, and can it help you to be more mindful, and unlock the steps to mindfulness. Meditation can be difficult for some people. If you’re having trouble at first, try and meditate for just a few minutes. As you get more comfortable with meditation, you’ll be able to do it for longer periods.
How To Do It
- Adopt a comfortable, meditative pose with your back straight
- Breathe deeply through your nose, and out through your mouth
- Focus on how your nose feels as you inhale, and how you feel as you exhale
- As other thoughts pop into your head, refocus yourself on your breathing, and let those other thoughts go
This technique is a bit more advanced, but with a bit of practice, you may find that it’s a helpful way to reduce your anxiety. This exercise will help you to release tension in different parts of your body while clearing your mind and reducing anxiety.
How To Do It
- Sit in a comfortable position
- Starting with your toes until you reach your head, tense each muscle group
- Breathe deeply through your nose as you tense each muscle group and hold the breath for 2-5 seconds
- Relax the muscle group, and exhale through your mouth
- Repeat the process for each muscle group until you’ve reached your head
Alternate Nostril Breathing
This form of breathing is easy to master, and it’s an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety while uniting the left and right sides of your brain. This particular method can also be as energizing as a cup of coffee, so you may want to avoid this one before bed.
How To Do It
- Find a comfortable position. You can also do this exercise while standing.
- Hold your right nostril closed with one of your fingers, and breathe deeply through your left nostril
- At the peak of your inhale, hold your left nostril closed, and exhale through your right nostril
- Repeat this process five times
Other Techniques For Dealing With Anxiety
The breathing techniques we’ve outlined above can be supremely helpful in helping you to deal with anxiety and panic attacks. Beyond these breathing exercises, there are some other things you may wish to try that can help you find relief.
- Yoga – Many different types of yoga can help you deal with anxiety and stress. If you’ve ever been interested in yoga in the past, this may be a great reason to give it a shot.
- Essential Oils – People have used essential oils for holistic therapy for hundreds of years. There are essential oils for seasonal allergies, pain management, stress and anxiety control and more. Some of the top essential oils for anxiety include chamomile, lavender, and ylang-ylang.
- DIY Epsom Salt Baths – Epsom salt baths are a great way to relax and destress. They also help the body replenish its supply of magnesium, which can reduce anxiety.
- Massage – Therapeutic massage can be deeply helpful both physically and mentally. If you’ve been using mindfulness to break bad habits, being mindful during a massage can help you to achieve a deeper feeling of peace and tranquility while helping to reduce anxiety.
- Moxibustion – The Moxibustion therapy benefits are many. This ancient eastern medicine may be able to help with a range of physical ailments, and it can also help reduce anxiety.
Dealing with anxiety is exceptionally difficult. To add fuel to the fire, it can often feel like the anxiety we feel is simply a part of who we are, and it’s something we’ll have to deal with forever. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. These breathing techniques can be particularly helpful ways to deal with your anxiety, so you can focus more on what’s important to you, and less on feeling anxious or stressed.