An anxiety attack can lead to heavy breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, and restlessness among others. Anxiety attacks can be caused for multiple reasons. Major life stress, traumatic event, family history of panic attacks, smoking or excessive caffeine intake can be some of the reasons for anxiety attacks. It might seem impossible to breathe during the attack, but that does not mean you can’t. Expert Nicole Pond, Brain and Body Coach talking to Hindustan Times suggested a few breathing exercises you should try when you feel anxious.
Here are seven breathing exercises you should keep in mind if you face anxiety:
Exhale: Usually you would inhale first and then exhale, but at this time, try exhaling first as much as you can and breathe out slowly. Repeat this for 5–10 minutes.
Breath through your stomach: First things first, lie down and place one hand on your stomach while the other hand should be placed on your chest. As you inhale deeply through your nose, you’ll feel your stomach rise. You should breathe out through your mouth. As you exhale, try contracting your stomach muscles to force the air out.
Focus on breathing: As you inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, you’ll feel your upper torso and tummy growing larger. As you exhale, observe how your tummy rises and falls. When you inhale, imagine it to be peaceful, whereas when you exhale, you should take it as all the negative vibes are going out. Focus on your breathing the entire time.
Relate to your breathing: Lie down and breathe for six seconds through your nose. To note, you shouldn’t fill your lungs with all the air, following the same six-second rule when you exhale. This time, slowly and gently release the air and continue it for 10 minutes.
Breathe like a lion: Stretch out your arms and fingers as you sit cross-legged, bring your hands to your knees, and inhale deeply through your nose. Exhale through your mouth while allowing yourself to say ‘ha’. As you exhale, widen your mouth as much as you can and stick out your tongue, extending it as far as it will go toward your chin. While exhaling, concentrate on the tip of your nose. Repeat the exercise up to six times.
Inhale and exhale through an alternative nostril: Close the right nostril with your right thumb and take a deep breath through the left. Pinch your nostrils shut with your right thumb and ring finger while holding your breath. Inhale through your left nostril while using your right ring finger to cover it, then exhale through your right nostril while holding your breath for a time. Slowly inhale from your right nostril, then clamp your nose shut once more while stopping. Open your left nostril now, exhale for a bit, then inhale once more. Repeat this pattern of breathing in and out via either nostril up to ten times.