Breathing is one of the most powerful tools we have to manage our emotions and reduce anxiety. It is a simple yet effective way to regulate our emotions and bring our bodies back into balance. When we are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, our breathing can become shallow and rapid. This can lead to further anxiety and stress.
Deep breathing is one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety. It helps to slow down our heart rate and relax our muscles. It also helps to clear our minds and bring us back to the present moment. When we take a few moments to focus on deep breathing, we can begin to notice the physical sensations in our bodies. We can become aware of the tension in our muscles and the tightness in our chest.
When we are feeling anxious, our breathing can become shallow and rapid. This type of breathing can cause us to feel even more anxious and can lead to physical symptoms such as a racing heart and tightness in the chest. Evidence-based breathing techniques can help us to slow down our breathing, reduce our anxiety, and improve our overall mental health.
4-7-8 breathing technique
The 4–7–8 breathing technique involves breathing in for four seconds, holding the breath for seven seconds, and then exhaling for eight seconds. This breathing pattern helps slow down the heart rate and relax the body. It can be used to help you relax before a big event or to help you cope with a stressful situation. It can also help you fall asleep if you are having trouble sleeping.
To practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique, start by sitting in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Begin by breathing in deeply through your nose for four seconds. Hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat this pattern for several minutes until you feel relaxed. Give it a try and see how it can help you.
Alternate nostril breathing technique
Finally, the alternate nostril breathing technique is another evidence-based technique that can help reduce anxiety. Also known as Nadi Shodhana, it is an ancient yogic breathing technique that has been used for centuries to reduce stress and anxiety. This technique involves alternating breathing between the left and right nostrils and is believed to balance the brain’s two hemispheres.
The technique is simple and can be done anywhere. Begin by sitting in a comfortable position with your spine straight. Place your right thumb on your right nostril and your ring finger on your left nostril. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Then close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through your right nostril. Repeat this pattern, alternating between the left and right nostrils. It can be done anywhere and requires no special equipment. Give it a try and see how it can help you to relax and feel more balanced.