THE CIRCULAR

Breathing techniques for anxiety

Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

With the world finally opening up again, the thoughts of having to socialize and deal with large crowds can be quite daunting. Going from only interacting with people within your bubble to now seeing thousands of people every day is an overwhelming contrast. Here are some breathing techniques that you can use to reduce some of that anxiety.

Box Breathing

Let’s kick off with something easy and simple to master. The technique of box breathing has you exhale for four seconds, hold your lungs empty for four seconds, inhale for four seconds, hold the air in your lungs for four seconds and then repeat the cycle over again. It is important to just focus on your breathing and counting for the best anxiety reducing effect.

Video outlining the steps for Box Breathing

Pursed Lip Breathing

To do this technique you must start off by relaxing your neck and shoulders. The breath in through your nose for two seconds, just a normal breath will do it doesn’t have to be deep. Then pucker your lips as if you were going to give someone a kiss or blow out candles and exhale through your mouth for four seconds as slow as you can. In addition to reducing anxiety, this technique relieves shortness of breath and releases trapped air from your lungs.

Video outlining the steps for Pursed Lip Breathing

4-7-8 Breathing

Otherwise known as the relaxing breath, the technique helps you control your anxiety by relax your nervous system. To perform this technique, you must first be sitting down with straight posture. Then inhale through your nose for four seconds. Hold that breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds.

Follow along video for 4-7-8 Breathing

Meditation and breathing exercises have really come to the forefront during the pandemic. These techniques not only allow you to control your breathing but they also allow you to reflect on things occuring in your life and try to make sense of them.

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