For many, simply ignoring feelings of excessive worriedness may not be enough. Feelings of anxiety can impact anyone, regardless of age, gender, or social background. In uncommon circumstances, anxiety and stress can transpire into panic attacks, which cause dreadful worry and an array of temporary physical manifestations.
In the health community, it has often been debated as to what the best therapeutic approaches are to reducing anxiety and stress.
According to the owner of the American psychology research site Mental Daily, there are many breathing techniques that can help put anxiety under full control. Thus, here are four breathing exercises for reducing anxiety and stress, as listed in Mental Daily.
1. Mindful Breathing
This breathing technique is helpful for slowing your respiration rate.
Find a relaxed position and pay close attention to your breath without adjusting it. Feel the changes (in sensations) that follow after each deep breath; the rhythm, texture, and temperature of each breath you take.
Once you've done this, continue with even deeper breaths, all-while noticing stress, concerns and judgments going away after a couple of minutes of mindful breathing.
2. Breathing Words
If you want something to focus on during your breathing exercises, this technique is probably for you.
This exercise involves adding words to each deep breath to keep your mind occupied from anxiety and also implements a particular message.
Sit straight on a chair. Rather than speaking the words, visualize breathing them in as you inhale and exhale. For example, breath-in the word "I," as you hold the inhalation, think "am," and as you exhale think of "calm." Start out by using "I am calm" and once you master it, change it to whatever choice of words makes you more relaxed.
3. Square Breathing
Square breathing, also known as 'four-square breathing,' takes the approach of counting to four while taking deep breaths.
Start off by getting comfortable on a chair. Once you're sitting in a snug position, breath-in while counting to four, hold your breath to the count of four, exhale to the count of four, and then take a short break to the count of four. Repeat this exercise for four minutes.
If this technique works for you, try maximizing its efficacy by adding visualizations during your breathing exercises. Envision drawing a four-angled box when counting to four each time. This will keep your mind distracted from any unwanted thoughts.
4. Balloon Breaths
This is probably my favorite technique, which a lot of people find efficacy with. It involves diaphragmatic breaths that can swiftly bring you to a relaxed state of mind.
You start by sitting on a chair or lying flat on the floor. One benefit of lying on the floor is that you can easily feel each diaphragmatic breath as you inhale.
Once you find the right position, place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. As you inhale, notice your diaphragm expanding, similar to a balloon. When exhaling, imagine the balloon flattening and losing all its air.
Do this exercise ten more times.