New Delhi: Breathing
is a function of the body that keeps us alive. In Sanskrit, a breath is called Praan. And exercises of the breath are called Pranayam
- meaning - exercises that extend life. Have you noticed how when one is stressed or anxious, or when the heart or blood pressure is under duress, it is the breath that is immediately affected?
Breathing is directly connected to our stress
levels. You can therefore us the breathing mode to overcome anxiety
and create a positive impact on the body and mind
There are several breathing techniques
that could help you to calm down your mind when you have an anxiety attack. Try these breathing techniques when you feel overwhelmed next:
Breath from your abdomen: Breathing using your diaphragm will help reduce the work the body needs to do when breathing. Look at the way a baby breathes. A baby does not hold its tummy muscles tight while breathing, instead takes easy full breaths with a relaxed rhythm between the chest and abdomen.
Focus on your breathing: Take slow and focused deep breaths to reduce the anxiety. When you do this, your brain concentrates on the process of breathing in and breathing out - thus shifting the focus away from whatever was bothering your mind in the first place - and that helps reduce anxiety.
Extend your exhalation:
Exhaling is connected to the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which enables our body to relax and calm down. According to Psychology Today, just two minutes of deep breathing with longer exhalation engages the vagus nerve, increases HRV
(Heart rate variability is where the amount of time between your heartbeats), and improves decision-making.
Yoga: Yoga is a good way to keep your body and mind relaxed. The base of every asana is its breathing technique and that helps the mind and body to relax. Especially, pranayamas may help with anxiety as it has several breathing exercises.
This is a technique wherein you inhale
for 4 secs, hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale
for 8 seconds. This helps with anxiety and you can focus back on your daily chores.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.