The Best Breathing Exercise for Anxiety

posted in: Stress & Anxiety | 0

1. Ensure your in-breath is not huge – it should be ‘ordinary’. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sure what this might mean; it just matters that you begin to become aware if you’re feeling like you need a big sigh-type in-breath.

2. Perform a slow out-breath that lasts about 6 to 8 seconds – almost complete exhale – with or without a gentle hum or ‘voo’ noise.

3. Use the abdominal muscles (if necessary) to hold still at the end of the out-breath – so you are holding your breath out. Gently.

4. This is the subtle and all important bit – be curious about what ‘the feeling of needing to breathe in again’ actually feels like physically, and where in your body those feelings are. Study these feelings a little.

5. The more you can be curious about this feeling, the longer you will find yourself holding your breath out (almost effortlessly).

6. When the feeling of needing to breathe in has become apparent, notice that you can elect to give in to it, or ignore its demands for another couple of seconds and breathe in when you choose to. So you realise that you are becoming in charge of when you breathe in, not the usual ‘automation’.
Try this for 5 minutes.

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