I mentioned a few days ago that one of the best things you can do to calm down when anxiety arises is to take a deep breath. Today, I’d like to expand on this concept and walk you through a few simple breathing exercises. They are an excellent tool because they are simple to implement and can be done at any time and from any location.
When you are stressed, your breathing becomes rapid and shallow. Paying attention to your breath and concentrating on slow, steady breathing helps to calm your nervous system. That is why these simple exercises are so effective.
While none of the breathing exercises I’m about to share with you are difficult, breath counting is by far the easiest. Breathe slowly and steadily, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Begin counting each exhalation. You should feel noticeably calmer by the time you reach twenty.
Finding a calming breathing rhythm is another beneficial exercise.
Begin by inhaling for four seconds through your nose. Hold your breath for two seconds before exhaling slowly through your mouth for six seconds. You should feel noticeably calmer after a minute or two. Maintaining this steady, slow rhythm of breathing relieves stress and anxiety.
Abdominal breathing is another great technique to practice if you have the opportunity to sit or lay down. Make yourself at ease, relax, and place one hand on your stomach. Begin breathing in and concentrate on the sensation of your stomach rising. Slowly exhale, paying attention to how your hand lowers back down.
Continue to breathe slowly and steadily, focusing your attention on your abdomen. If this isn’t an option, you can concentrate on how the air feels as it flows in through your nose and out through your mouth.
It is critical that you practice these breathing techniques before encountering a stressful or anxious situation. Make it a habit to practice them on a daily basis so you’re familiar with them when you need them. You don’t want to have to focus on what you’re doing, or worse, worry about whether you’re doing it correctly. Instead, you should practice each breathing exercise until it becomes a habit that you can do while sleeping.
When you are feeling anxious, practice and then apply any of these techniques. They are an excellent way to relax almost immediately. They are also extremely beneficial when it comes to falling asleep. It won’t be long before you’re drifting off to sleep if you practice your breathing exercises in bed.
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