Deep breathing exercises are one of the best ways to reduce anxiety, and are great because they can be done anywhere- on a bus, at schol, in bed – you get the picture 😀
Deep breathing helps to calm your mind, balance your emotions and regulate your breathing. You may feel a bit stupid or self-conscious at the beginning while you get the hang of it, but persevere and you really will notice a difference.
If it helps to block out all the distractions around you, stick on your i-pod and play some relaxing music while you block everything out.
Most people take really shallow breaths, so breathing deeply through your nose may seem really unnatural and you may feel really self conscious.
It will take some practise before you get the hang of it and before you start to feel the benefits of it- so don’t give up after your first attempt.
You really will notice a difference- so try and try again!
This is best done sitting but can be done standing or lying down.
- Sit with your back straight and your hands resting comfortably in your lap or on your thighs. Close your eyes and try to focus internally on your breathing. All inhalations are done through your NOSE; all exhalations through your MOUTH.
- Throughout the exercises keep the tip of your tongue in contact with the top of your mouth, just behind your top teeth.
- Inhale slowly, smoothly and deeply to a mental count of 4 seconds. Fill your lower lungs first (by pushing out your abdomen), then your middle and upper lungs.
- Hold your breath for a mental count of 7 seconds.
- Slowly and smoothly exhale for a mental count of 8 seconds.
- As you exhale, try to let go of all your anxiety, tension & stress.