The Best Breathing Exercises To Calm You

The connection between your breathing patterns and the amount of stress and anxiety you may feel is much closer than you may have ever realized. This is because your breathing patterns often become altered in such a way that it impacts the rest of your body and only makes the anxiety feel even worse. In the midst of a panic attack or high anxiety, often people find their breathing tends to become more shallow and rapid, which leads to hyperventilation. Hyperventilation in turn creates dizziness and chest pain, which certainly doesn’t help an anxious person calm down.  This is why it is so crucial to know about the ways in which you can improve your breathing patterns and habits whenever anxiety gets to be too much to handle. 

The first breathing exercise you can practice involves slowing down your intake of oxygen, which is the main issue that hyperventilation provides. Breathing into a brown paper bag, or even cupping your hands over your mouth when you don’t have access to a bag, can work to slowdown your breathing. This is because breathing into a confined space like this will lower your oxygen supply, and so you will essentially be forced to breathe at a slower rate. This can stop hyperventilation in its tracks.

Other people may benefit from deep breathing exercises, which is not the same as hyperventilation. With deep breathing, you are still breathing at a slow pace, but you are allowing plenty of oxygen to reach the body. At its most simplest form, you can practice deep breathing by sitting down and inhaling slowly for five seconds, holding the breath for five seconds, and releasing the breath to the count of five seconds. 

It is recommended to anyone with high stress or anxiety levels that they give such breathing techniques and exercises a try. Many people have found that by learning how to control their breathing, they can not only stop a panic attack or rush of anxiety from getting worse, but they can even prevent them altogether. 

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Alexander Mueller

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