Breathing Exercises For Anxiety – A Natural Solution
There are several ways to combat anxiety without the use of drugs and medicine; one such method is through breathing exercises for anxiety. Often you might be prescribed drugs through your doctor and in the most severe cases this can be of great benefit. However, there are many things you can do to prevent your anxious feelings from overcoming you and taking over your life.
Simple breathing exercises can be used to focus the mind and lessen thoughts of anxiety. By concentrating your mental efforts on the rise and fall of your chest while breathing, you not only occupy your mind, but you also are paying attention to an important aspect of your being. Deep breathing exercises replicate the effects of meditation and will bring you the same effects if done correctly.
Controlled Tempo Breathing
You can practice this exercise either sitting down or lying down, whatever you prefer. You should close your eyes and focus on normal diaphragmatic breathing, which should be natural.
Slowly lift your left arm and take the pulse on your wrist. Count the number of beats per exhalation. If there are, say five beats, then inhale for five counts, hold for five counts and exhale for five counts. Do this for several minutes. You can follow up this breathing exercise with a deeper mediation should you wish to do so.
Breath Counting Exercise
A simple technique, used in Zen practice is breath counting.
Make sure you’re sitting upright but comfortably with your head inclined forward. With your eyes closed, take several deep breaths. Ensure you’re allowing your breathing to be natural, do not force it. Think of an ocean, and allow your breaths to follow the waves, a quiet and slow rhythm.
To start the breath counting exercise, count 1 (to yourself) while you exhale. The next time you exhale, count 2 to yourself. Follow these steps up to the count of 5.
Once you’ve done this, start your second cycle, following exactly the same steps as above.
This really is a simple but effective exercise. Remember, only count up to 5, and only count while you exhale.
Do this for several cycles, but do not keep count. Try to do it for up to 10 minutes if you can – it tends to be boring initially, but keep practicing and it will become a very pleasant meditation which really helps you to calm your nerves.
Conquer Your Anxiety
The above are just a few of the countless breathing exercises you can practice to reduce your stress levels and reduce your anxiety. The important thing to remember is to do these exercises consistently for them to be effective. Practicing these breathing techniques consistently will do wonders for your mental health.