Breathing Relaxation Techniques For Anxiety

Breathing techniques are a great way to calm your mind and connect your mind to your body. Here we will learn about breathing relaxation techniques for anxiety. When you learn and do these simple and effective breathing techniques for relaxation purposes, then you are on your way to being able to calm your mind, connect your mind and body in addition to managing whatever it is that makes you anxious.

In addition, we should note that everybody breathes, but very few people take the time to control their breath. Learning how to control your breath can be difficult at first, but there are effective and easy ways to control your breath. I will note the types of ‘control’ breathes throughout this post.

Learning how to control your breathing when you need to is also a great way to help with relaxation breathing that in turn will result in a calm mind, connected mind and body and anxiety that is easier to manage.

 

Morning Breathing

If you have any muscle tension, you should try this morning breathing technique.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand up and bend forward at the waist.
  • As you bend forward, bend over slightly and let your arms hang limply by the floor.
  • Inhale deeply while you return to a standing position.
  • You should stand up by moving your body in a rolling motion.
  • Your head should be the last thing lifted.
  • Exhale as you return to the original standing position.

Repeat this five times.

 

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a very effective breathing technique. It utilizes all of your lung capacity and allows your belly to be filled with air too. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your back either in your bed or on the floor. If you are on the floor, place a pillow under your head and knees.
  • Breathe in through your nose until your lungs can not expand anymore.
  • Breathe out.
  • Now, place one hand on your belly and another on your chest.
  • Breathe in and out of your nose again. As you do so, feel your belly and chest rise and fall.
  • Take five more deep breaths.

 

 

Breath Focus

Another effective breathing technique is called Breath Focus. Breath Focus is when you use your brain to focus on the physical and mental effects of breathing. Here’s how you can practice Breath Focus:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take 3 deep breaths.
  • As you breathe in, try to imagine the air entering through your nose, going down your throat, and swirling around in your body.
  • As you breathe out, imagine that stress and tension are physically leaving your body with the air.
  • Continue this for 10 to 20 minutes.

 

Ujjayi Breathing (also good for controlling the breath)

Ujjayi (ooh-HAY-yee) breathing is one of the best breathing techniques for stress and anger reduction. You might sound a bit funny when you practice this breathing technique, but it will be worth it.

Practising ujjayi breathing is also a great way to learn to control your breathing which is a powerful action to learn. Ujjayi breathing is when you inhale and exhale through your nose, but the exhale makes a noise.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Inhale deeply through your nose.
  • Relax and allow this deep inhale flow deeply through your lungs so that your lungs are completely filled.
  • As you exhale, partially contract your throat so that way it makes a raspy “ahh” sound.
  • If you are a yoga practitioner then this type of breathing and the sounds you make on the exhale will be familiar to you.
  • Repeat as many times as you would like.

 

Additional Ways to Control Your Breath

 

Lengthen Your Exhale Breathe

Exhaling is one of the easiest ways to relax, calm down and manage anxiety. As a result, you should aim to lengthen your exhale whenever you’re learning how to control your breath. Here is how you can lengthen your exhale:

  • Before taking a deep breath, try to expel all the air from your lungs quickly and completely.
  • Then, try to inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 7 seconds.
  • Repeat this for 5 minutes.

 

 

Equal Breathing

With this breathing technique, you can try to control your breath by making the inhale and exhale equal. The benefit of this is that it allows you to focus on your breath in a rhythmic way.

Try this to do equal breathing:

  • Close your eyes and listen to your regular breath.
  • Then, start to inhale and exhale for the same amount of time by counting to four on the inhale and exhale.

 

Alternate Nostril Breathing

You can try to breathe through one nostril at a time.

Find a comfortable place to sit down in. Also, wear clothing that will allow you to move your hands to your nose freely.

Here’s what alternate nostril breathing looks like:

  • Use your thumb to close your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril.
  • Use your thumb and ring finger to close the nose completely and hold breath.
  • Lift thumb but keep the ring finger in place so that the left nostril is closed and exhale through the right nostril.
  • Breathe in through the right nostril.
  • Repeat steps on the other side.

This method of alternate nostril breathing may seem strange but it is found to be very effective for relaxation breathing to calm the mind and body and help manage anxiety.

It is also great to do this before falling asleep. You can easily lie in bed and do this type of alternate nostril breathing – you should have a really deep and relaxing sleep after you have done this.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, a breathing relaxation technique for anxiety that you can easily do without too much thought is to learn to control your breathing by simply focusing on your breathing.

Close your eyes, and begin to focus on your breath. What does the air feel like? Can you feel the air go in your nose and down your throat? Notice how your breathing affects your body. Also, notice how it changes the longer you focus on it.

Do this for 5 minutes anytime during the course of your day and it will soon become second nature. This will result in a relaxed calm mind, calm body and you being able to manage your anxiety.

Namaste!

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Breathing Relaxation Techniques For Anxiety”

  1. Thank you so much for this highly informative article, Ola! My mother suffers from terrible anxiety, and I believe that these breathing exercises would be extremely beneficial to her. We all need to stop, shut out all outside distractions for a moment, and just breathe. Think about the goodness of God; think about the sunshine, cool breeze, and birds chirping; think about all of the positive people in your life-family, friends, other loved ones; dwell on your most pleasant memories; envision the anxiety and stress just leaving your body. This will certainly help us to feel better. God bless you!

  2. I couldn’t agree more, breathing exercises along with calming music or meditation sounds would also make a great combination.
    I should think about putting this in my daily routine, as work tends to get me stressed, thanks!

  3. Hi Ola,

    I must admit when I first came across breathing techniques for things like stress, anxiety, and even to help you to sleep, I was extremely sceptical.

    In fact, I was struggling with stress and anxiety for a number of months and learned certain breathing exercises, but decided to ignore them. I simply thought, there’s no way something so simple could provide a solution.

    How wrong can you be?

    I have taken up meditation over the last two years and I’ve studied mindfulness and yoga more closely and it seems there is connection between deep breathing and relaxing both the mind and body.

    I have been converted.

    I practice certain breathing techniques on a daily basis and I can confirm it has made a huge difference for me.

    Thank you for reaffirming this for me.

    Partha

    1. Hi Partha, thanks for commenting and sharing. I enjoyed reading about your experience with breathing techniques and the positive outcomes you got. 🙂 Thanks, Ola

  4. Breathing relaxation techniques for anxiety is a very helpful article for all of us to read, we all are going to experience high-anxiety at times in our lives. What would you suggest to be the easiest and the most effective breathing technique for beginners to try first, I know I am trouble focusing when I am anxious so I need something that is easy and simple to learn

    Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff, thanks for sharing here. Firstly I will say that these breathing techniques can be done by beginners and experienced alike. If however, you want to take a more conscious approach to your breathing and starting as a beginner, then try practising the Deep Breathing. This is because you learn to breathe using your lungs/chest and your belly properly. When you master the deep breathing it helps correct the ‘shallow breathing’ we have become used to and then the other breathing techniques can also be practised.

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