Anxiety, Articles, Mental health

5 ways to practice deep breathing and squash your anxiety

image of a man outside symbol of releasing anxiety and becoming calmer

You probably heard the advice that, to lower your anxiety you need to practice diaphragmatic breathing. But you never learned how to do that because you didn’t understand exactly how it works. And you told yourself that a glass of wine or a massage from your partner is going to make you relaxed anyway.

However, those are temporary solutions. When anxiety returns, you’ll be asking yourself what else can yo do to relax. If you wanna give diaphragmatic breathing a shot, I want to tell you that it’s not difficult to practice. I learned how to do it myself in just a few hours. You ready to learn more?

Here are four steps to deep breathing. Fyi, if you feel calm or sleepy at the end, it only means it’s working.

1. Lower anxiety by breathing from the ‘diaphragm’ not the chest

How do you usually breathe? Have you ever thought about that?

If you wanna know, lay down on the bed and place a hand on your abdomen. Then inhale. If the chest goes up, it means that you’re breathing from the chest which is wrong. What you want to do is to learn how to breathe from the abdomen. To do that, try to take a deep breath. Hold it for 5 seconds, then do a very long exhale.

2. Inhale through your nose

This is the trick of deep breathing exercises. The time period between an inhale and an exhale. I noticed that the longer the time, the more relaxed I felt. Try to take a deep breath, wait for 5 seconds, then exhale for 7-8 seconds. Exhaling is an important process in relaxation. That’s when all the residual air from the lungs is expelled.

3. Exhale through your mouth

I learned that the biggest mistake that you can do in diaphragmatic breathing is to not exhale properly. The right way to exhale is to do it long enough so that all the residual, toxic air in your lungs is eliminated. Try to breathe out until you feel your abs contracting. If you don’t feel your muscles in the abdominal area, then you didn’t exhale deeply enough. I used to loathe exhaling because I didn’t find it a pleasant experience. But after trying to exhale for longer times than usual, my entire body started to relax. I guess it is true what they say. Results are much more enjoyable than the process leading to the results.

4. Inhale-exhale for 5 times

Repeat the steps above for five times in a row. This will give you the chance to work on those tensed muscles in your abdomen, neck, shoulders, and face.

It will also induce a sense of calm in your whole being.

5. Rest

It is normal to feel sleepy or a bit tired after this intense exercise. If you have the chance, take a nap or rest for a while.

All in all, deep breathing exercises are not that difficult to practice. However, make sure that you inhale and exhale the right way so that you will squash that body anxiety and feel more like yourself. Did this post help you? If so, make sure to subscribe to my blog for future interesting updates.

If you want to learn more about deep breathing techniques, check this article, ‘Diaphragmatic breathing: techniques and instructions’.

References:

http://www.athenacounseling.com/

www.normalbreathing.com

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