Your breath and your mind have an intimate relationship, if your breathing is fast and shallow it can stir up your thoughts and increase anxiety, but if you learn to notice your breath and slow it down, you can reign in anxious thoughts and calm your mind.
In this podcast Shann shares a simple anxiety breathing technique that can help you feel in control of panic and anxiety...
How to Practice Belly Breathing to Calm Anxiety
Belly breathing is good for releasing upsetting thoughts, it’s also useful for pain relief and relaxation in general.
Here's how to try it:
- Place your right hand over the centre of your chest, and your left hand over the centre of your stomach and take a slow deep breath in.
If you notice that the hand on your stomach rises higher than the hand on your chest, you have been successful in drawing that breath deeply into your lungs.
If that isn’t whta you felt, you could take a minute or two to experiment, and try again. Be sure to empty your lungs fully on your out-breath to encourage the next breath in to deepen and make your stomach rise.
- Exhale through your mouth, letting the breath out slowly and completely. When you feel that your lungs are nearly empty, pull your stomach in a little to squeeze the very last air from your lungs.
- Repeat four times, until you have completed five cycles of deep refreshing abdominal breathing.
Once you are comfortable with this breathing technique you can stop using your hands, and enjoy practising it anywhere and anytime you need to.
Some people find it deepens there expereince to add a word or two to their outgoing breath: something like “calm” or “peace” is ideal. You can say it in your mind or whisper it with your breath - whatever feels best for you.
image by adedip
Listen to the podcast How to Use Your Breath to Calm Anxiety here: