We all become anxious from time to time whether it’s because of public speaking, an interview or a visit to the dentist.
1 in 4 people will experience some kind of anxiety problem in the course of an year. These feelings of anxiety may be associated with panic attacks, palpitations and even chest pain or heart attack. In women, the likelihood that they will suffer from an anxiety disorder is twice higher than in men.
Experts suggest that breathing exercises are the best way to overcome this unpleasant state.
Here are six of the most effective exercises:
1. Bee Breath
It is a commonly practiced exercise in the meditation sessions. This helps to calm the mind.
- Sit up straight, in a comfortable position
- Relax your shoulders
- “Open your chest“, inhale slowly and fill your lungs with air as much as you can
- Cover your eyes and ears with your fingers
- Make a buzz for 3-4 seconds, while keeping your lips closed and your jaw relaxed, then do a long slow exhalation
- Repeat this breathing technique 5-10 times
2. Measured Breath
This technique helps to relieve anxiety and panic attacks.
- You can sit or stand up
- Relax your arms and shoulders and lay your hands on you shoulders
- Breathe in slowly through your nose while you count to 4, so that your stomach expands
- Stop for a moment and breathe out slowly and smoothly while you count to 7
- Repeat this technique for a few minutes
3. Progressive relaxation
- Close your eyes, slowly
- Focus on tensing and relaxing each group of muscles in your body for 2-3 seconds
- Start with your feet from toes to knees, thighs, hips, chest, neck, face and eyes
- Keep breathing slow and deep all the time
- Stop 5 seconds, then exhale through the mouth or nose
4. Equal breathing or “Sama Vritti”
This exercise helps you relieve stress and clear your mind.
- Inhale slowly through your nose while counting to 4
- Exhale in the same way, slowly, while counting to 4
- Focus on your breath
5. The visualiser
- Relax completely
- Lie down, close your eyes and imagine that you are in a happy place, think of pleasant things
- Breathe deeply through your nose
- View yourself as you want, do not let negative thoughts enter your mind
- Stay in this position for a few seconds and relax your body completely
6. Shining breath technique or “Kapalabhati”
- Start with a slow and long inspiration, followed by a rapid and powerful exhalation
- While exhaling contract your lower abdomen
- Proceed as fast as you can, inhaling and exhaling every 2 seconds
- Repeat this exercise 10 times
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