Deep breathing is beneficial to mental health, especially stress and anxiety. But, you have to make sure you’re breathing properly so the techniques work. Spending just a few minutes a day practicing deep breathing can help you feel better. After a while you’ll get used to deep breathing and learn to naturally slow down your breathing in stressful situations. Breathing right helps your body feel more in tune with itself, and it can make a huge impact on your path to eliminating stress and anxiety. Here is some quick points about breathing right:
- Every time you breathe you are affecting your entire body and this correlates with you how feel. Deep breathing exercises can help you relieve tension, relax, and reduce stress and anxiety.
- You can complete breathing exercises anywhere. They are simple to learn and as you do them more your breathing will improve naturally.
- Some exercises work better for certain people, over time you will know which ones you enjoy the most.
If you can spend just a tiny amount of time with deep breathing exercises each day, your mind and body will thank you. Below I will explain the best deep breathing techniques for anxiety.
Deep Breathing Exercises
There are a ton of deep breathing exercises, but these are the top ones that will help with anxiety. I will start with the simplest exercise and move into slightly more advanced exercises. You will want to work your way up until you feel comfortable with the techniques.
We are going to start with belly breathing because it is very simple, and very relaxing. You can try this easy exercise anytime you feel stressed or anxious. It’s one of the best for stress. Follow the simple steps below:
- Lay down or sit in a position that you’re comfortable in. I find siting up straight in a comfy chair or in bed works great.
- Place one of your hands on your belly just under your rib cage. Place the other hand in the center of your chest.
- Take a big deep breath in through your nose. Make sure your belly is pushing on your hand, the hand on your chest should not more. You want your breathing to occur through your belly, not your chest.
- Make pursed lips similar to how you would hold them if you were to whistle. Then, breath all the air out through your pursed lips. Again, make sure you feel your belly move, and not your chest.
- Continue with this breathing 3 to 12 more times and make sure you take each breath slow and steady.
- At the end of belly breathing take note on how you feel afterwards.
On to More Advanced Breathing Techniques
The next breathing techniques I’m going to show you are more advanced than simple belly breathing. Make sure you are comfortable with belly breathing before moving on to these next breathing techniques. Try all three of the more advanced techniques and see which one works best for you.
This type of breathing takes belly breathing to the next level. It’s also a great breathing exercise for stress and anxiety. Follow the steps below:
- Sit or lay down in a comfortable position.
- Similar to the belly breathing exercise, put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach below your rib cage.
- Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, and quietly count to 4 while breathing in.
- Quietly count from 1 to 7 while holding your breath.
- Breath all your air out while quietly counting from 1 to 8. It’s best if you try to get all your air out by the time you get to the number 8.
- Repeat this breathing exercise until you feel relaxed and calm.
- Take note of how you feel after completing this breathing technique.
With roll breathing you will learn to use the full range of your lungs and truly focus on the rhythm and pattern of your breathing. Follow the steps below to learn roll breathing:
- This type of breathing can be completed in any position. I recommend laying on your back with your knees bent (similar to how you lay before doing a sit-up) when you’re first learning this type of breathing, as you get better at it you are welcome to use any position.
- Put your left-hand on your belly below your rib cage, and your right-hand on the center of your chest. Pay close attention how your hands move while you’re completing this breathing exercise.
- Start by practicing to fill and breathe from your lower lungs, or breath so that your belly moves your left-hand when you inhale. Your right-hand on your chest should stay Remember to always breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat this about 8 to 10 times.
- After your have filled up and emptied your lower lungs a number of times, you will start to add in the next breathing step. As you did before, breathe in through your lower lungs (belly), but, exhale from your upper chest. Make sure you breathe slow and steady. When doing this you should notice your right-hand rise, and your left-hand fall as your belly moves.
- When you breathe out from your mouth make a slight whooshing or whistling sound; do this while your left-hand and then your right-hand move. When you breathe out you should feel the tension leave your body and you should feel a sense of calm.
- Breathe using this technique for 3 to 8 minutes and notice your belly and chest rise and fall. The movement should remind you of waves rolling in and hitting the shore.
- Take note of how you feel after you try roll breathing.
I recommend practicing roll breathing ever day for many weeks until you are very familiar with it and can do it without thinking. You can then use it as a tool to help you relax no matter where you are.
Please Note: Some people have experiences dizziness or feel lightheaded when practicing roll breathing. This can happen if you breathe too quickly. You will want to slow your breathing and always get up slowly and carefully
Morning breathing is best completed in the morning when you first get up, which is why it is called morning breathing. It helps eliminate muscle stiffness and clear any breathing passages that may be clogged. You also use this breathing exercise throughout the day to help relieve back tension. Follow the steps below:
- Begin by standing up and then bend forward from your waist. Your knees should be slightly bend and your arms should simply dangle near the ground.
- As you take a slow, deep breath in return to a standing position. You will do this by slowly rolling your body until it’s upright, and your head will be lifted last.
- When you’re standing hold your breath for about 5 seconds or so.
- Slowly breathe out and return to the first position where you are bent at the waist.
- Take note on how you feel after completing the morning breathing exercise.
If you’re interested in more deep breathing exercises for anxiety and stress check out video below:
Deep Breathe to Relieve!
These deep breathing techniques for anxiety and stress will help you feel more relaxed. Once you get good at them they will come more naturally. You will be able to do them without even thinking! After you’ve tried them all a number of times see which one(s) work the best for you. You might find one really makes you feel at ease, so you’ll want to try to get that exercise in ever day. If you keep up with deep breathing you will see how much it helps relax your body.
If you have any questions ask them below. I’m always happy to help!