3 Simple Breathing Techniques to Help Reduce Anxiety
In order to reduce our anxiety levels, we have to switch the nervous system from ‘fight or flight’ mode to ‘rest and digest’ mode. Unfortunately, our body won’t respond to verbal instruction, but it will respond very quickly and easily to changes in our breath pattern through the use of different breathing techniques.
The following three breathing techniques will reduce anxiety levels quickly and easily. All are using the nose to inhale and exhale.
1. LENGTHENING THE EXHALE
Simply bring your attention to your breathing and begin to take a little bit longer each time you exhale. It’s really that simple. You’ll notice the effects after only a few breaths and can practice for a few minutes or until you’re feeling centred and relaxed again.
2. COHERENT BREATHING
Observe your breath and begin to inhale and exhale to the count of five. Take your time – speed is not important. Slowly increase your count up to six, seven, eight, etc, continuing until you reach ten seconds to inhale and ten to exhale. Practice for a few minutes each time.
3. ABDOMINAL BREATHING
Sit or lie down, place one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose, noticing your stomach rise. Imagine that you are inflating a balloon as you inhale. Then exhale through the nose deflating the ‘balloon’ as you go.
Alan Dolan the Breath Coach at Khera Griggs Cleanse Clinic at Urban Retreat, urbanretreat.co.uk. For additional tips visit breathguru.com or Alan’s app – Breathguru app which contains video tutorials and guided breath sessions which can be used to establish a daily breath practice.