Anxiety is not just a feeling of uneasiness. There are other cases of anxiety attacks that can cause breathing issues. Anxiety creates poor breathing habits through constant stimulation of autonomic nervous system that ultimately changes the way you breathe.
During anxiety attacks you might suffer from any or all of the following:
- Over breathing: Breathing more air as if you are not getting enough
- Monitored breathing: Overly conscious about your breathing
- Shallow breathing: breathing in too fast
Poor breathing habits can cause a variety of issues and the most common is hyperventilation. It is responsible for most symptoms of anxiety attacks such as rapid heartbeat and chest pain.
Breathing exercises are quick, easy and an excellent solution for anxiety and stress relief. Breathing techniques work on anxiety on a psychological level by slowing down your heart rate automatically and the effect on anxiety is almost instant.
Here are 3 Anxiety Relief Breathing Techniques you should try whenever you are having an anxiety attack:
1. Belly Breathing for Relaxation
It is the most popular breathing exercise for anxiety relief. Belly breathing is especially effective during a panic or anxiety attack.
- Place your one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
- Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose. Ensure that your shoulders are relaxed and down. The stomach should expand and your chest should rise a little.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth. As you blow out, keep your jaws and tongue relaxed and purse your lips slightly.
- Repeat this breathing exercise for a few minutes.
2. The Bumblebee Breath
This breathing technique makes a lot of noise so you might want to be alone. This breathing technique might seem strange, however, it has been used for thousands of years to make you feel good and calm.
- Relax your shoulders.
- Slightly close your throat in order for you to hear your breath when you breathe in
- Cover your eyes with your four fingers and cover your ears with your thumb
- Keep your teeth slightly apart and your lips lightly closed with your jaw relaxed. Slowly breath out making a low and long humming sound.
- Make your exhalation smooth and long
- Repeat this 5 to 10 times.
3. The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
This breathing exercise is pretty simple in order to help you relax your body and breathing during a panic or anxiety attack.
- Stand or sit, but be sure to soften up a bit before starting this exercise. Make sure that your knees are soft and your hands are relaxed.
- Let your jaws relaxed and drop down your shoulders
- Now slowly breathe in through your nose and count to 4 while keeping your shoulders down and allowing your stomach to expand.
- Hold it for 7 seconds.
- Then smoothly and slowly release your breath as you count to 8
- Repeat this exercise for a couple of minutes.
Breathing exercise for anxiety relief takes practice so do not expect them to work right away. However, the more you practice, the better you will get and it will be easier for you to calm yourself during a panic or anxiety attack.