Anxiety: Try These Breathing Exercises To Lower Anxiety

Here are 5 breathing exercises that can help you lower your anxiety.

Anxiety: Try These Breathing Exercises To Lower Anxiety

Deep breathing can help lower your anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common and normal emotions. Unlike what many may think, anxiety is rather healthy for our mind and body. Anxiety helps stay alert and also boosts cognitive functions and productivity.

However, prolonged or severe anxiety may not be so beneficial. Prolonged anxiety may have negative effects on our bodies and minds. It is important to identify when your anxiety is poorly affecting your health.

Once you have identified your anxiety needs intervention, there are many ways through which it can be improved. You can lower your anxiety through counselling, diet changes, therapy, medication, exercising, meditation, and so on.

Breathing exercises have also proven helpful in reducing anxiety. Unlike some techniques, breathing exercises might help provide long-term benefits. In this article, we discuss some easy breathing exercises that can help you lower your anxiety.

5 breathing exercises to reduce anxiety:

1. Deep breathing

  • Sit with your legs folded
  • Keep your back straight
  • Place your hands on your knees
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing
  • Slowly inhale for as long as you comfortably can
  • Now exhale
  • Repeat this 4-5 times
  • You can also perform this exercise lying down with hands on the side

2. Positive breathing

  • Sit with your legs folded
  • Keep your back straight
  • Place your hands on your knees
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing
  • Slowly inhale for as long as you comfortably can
  • Now exhale
  • While inhaling and exhaling, you are required to incorporate positive self-talk
  • You must use positive affirmations and speak positively to self
  • When breathing using terms like ‘I have got this', ‘I don't need to worry about this', etc. can help reduce anxiety

3. Pursed-lip breathing

  • Sit with your legs folded
  • Keep your back straight
  • Place your hands on your knees or however comfortable
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing
  • Slowly inhale with your mouth closed
  • Now, open your mouth and form a pout
  • At this point, your lips must appear as though you are giving a kiss
  • Now slowly exhale with your lips pursed
  • Repeat at least 3-4 times

4. Alternate-nostril breathing

  • Sit with your back straight and your legs folded
  • Place your right hand's tips of the index and middle finger on your forehead, between your eyebrows
  • Now, gently place the thumb over your right nostril
  • Place your ring finger on the left nostril
  • Lift your thumb and inhale from your right nostril and place your hand back on your right nostril
  • Exhale from your left nostril and then inhale from the same nostril
  • Repeat this a few times
  • Make sure to not force the breathing, this exercise is supposed to be gentle and relaxing

5. Box breathing

  • Sit with your back straight
  • your legs must be folded
  • Inhale while mentally counting till four
  • Hold your breath for another 4 seconds
  • Now exhale slowly counting four
  • Now repeat this technique at least 4-5 times

In conclusion, you can improve your mental health and mood disorders such as anxiety through simple steps. Nothing is better than doctor prescribed treatment. Breathing exercises may be incorporated along with other treatment methods. 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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