How To Use Breathing Exercises To Beat Your Anxiety

How To Use Breathing Exercises To Beat Your Anxiety

If your anxiety is through the roof, we hear you. 2020 has been one horrible thing after another. While it is extra important to take care of ourselves these days, it’s easier said than done to do the things we know that we should be doing to support our health and well-being. This is why we love breathwork here at Chef Soraya because it’s simple to do and can be done anywhere to help keep your anxiety at bay. Plus, breathing is something every human already does, so no special skills are required to do these exercises!

What Is Breathwork?

Breathwork refers to any kind of breathing exercise or technique in which one consciously changes their breathing pattern in hopes of improving mental, physical, and/or spiritual well-being. Think about it. When we are overwhelmed, the first thing someone tells us to do is “take a deep breath.” This is because when we become overcome with anxious feelings, our breath becomes shorter and shallower. Taking a deep inhale and exhale breath instantly brings our heart rate down and helps to calm the nervous system. There are many different forms of breathwork but we want to give you some basic anxiety-busting exercises to try today! 

Lengthen Your Exhale

The exhale breath is linked to our parasympathetic nervous system, which influences our body’s ability to relax. 

When we feel overcome by anxiety or stress, it’s easy to hyperventilate — which decreases the amount of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Focusing on breathing  OUT can be more beneficial than focusing on taking long inhales. 

Follow These Steps:

1). Start by pushing all of the air out of your lungs, then let your lungs naturally inhale air.

2). Try to lengthen the time of your exhale, more than your inhale. For instance, inhale for four seconds, then exhale for six seconds.

3). Repeat step 2 for two or more minutes. 

You can practice this exercise in any position such as standing, sitting, or lying down.

Equal Breathing 

The equal breathing technique stems from the ancient practice of pranayama yoga. This breathing technique focusses & calms the mind. For this exercise, you will focus on inhaling the same amount of time as you will exhale.

Follow These Steps:

1). Shut your eyes and pay close attention to the duration of your normal breaths. 

2). On your next inhale, slowly breath into the count of four.

3). On your exhale breath, slowly breath out to the count of four at the same pace, as the inhale breath. 

4). As you continue, be mindful to keep the tempo of each inhale and exhale the same

5). Complete this exercise for two or more minutes. 

Belly Breathing 

Belly breathing engages your diaphragm, a muscle at the bottom of your ribcage that is primarily responsible for respiratory function. As a result, this breathing technique supports the respiratory system while also activating the "relaxation response."

Follow These Steps:

1). Either standing or lying down, begin by placing one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly 

2). Breathe in slowly through your nose and focus on the rise of your stomach for the count of three. Your chest should remain relatively still. 

3). Pause for a brief moment.  

4). Purse your lips and exhale through your mouth. Engage your stomach muscles, as you push the air out of your body for the count of three.  

Take It One Breath At a Time

At the end of the day, if you’re experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, try using one or more of these breathing techniques to see if they can alleviate some of your symptoms. Remember that whenever, wherever, all you have to do is focus on your breath to help bring you back to balance. Ahhhhhh. 



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