Why would breathing techniques for anxiety be helpful?
- – Chest breathing (shallow breathing) is noted during the fight/ flight response that is so common to anxiety. Both diaphragmatic and yogic breathing are breathing techniques for anxiety that reroute the way we breath from our chest to our belly (Tiwari, N., & Baldwin, D. S. 2012).
- – During stressful and anxious situations, everyone is more prone to breathe in a shallower way (Tiwari, N., & Baldwin, D. S. 2012).
- – Anxious people often have changes in breathing during negative emotional states. Teaching them to slow their breathing and move it into their belly can change their emotional state (Tiwari, N., &Baldwin, D. S. 2012).
- – Additionally, “poor pulmonary functioning” is noted during “negative emotional states” (Tiwari, N., & Baldwin, D. S. 2012).
- – During shallow or chest breathing, there is an improper gas exchange (carbon dioxide to oxygen), and both diaphragmatic and yogic breathing seems to correct this ( Tiwari, N., & Baldwin, D. S. 2012).
Breathing techniques for Anxiety: Diaphragmatic Breathing
How do you do it?
- – Put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach.
- – Breathe normally and notice how your breath is often through your chest.
- – Practice moving your breath down through your belly
- – Imagine a large balloon in your belly filling up and then deflating
- – Practice this kind of breath at approximately 8 to 10 breaths a minute.
- – Do this twice a day for ten minutes and any time you feel tense or stressed.
- – If you have panic disorder, this may not be the best exercise to practice, consult with your therapist
Watch a great video on how to do this Diaphragmatic breathing
Breathing techniques for anxiety:Yogic Breathing
How to Do Alternate-Nostril Breathing
One kind of yogic breathing is alternate nostril breathing or nadi shodhana. This breathing may induce a sense of calm and be good for anxiety.
If you want to try alternate-nostril breathing, here’s what to do:
1. Take a deep breath through the right nostril while
closing the left nostril with the left index finger.
2. Hold your breath for a count of 3, then release the left
nostril, close the right nostril and exhale. Then inhale
through the same nostril, and hold your breath.
3. Releasing the right index finger, press against the left
nostril with the left index finger again and exhale from
the right nostril. This is considered one breath count.
4. Continue the above steps for 7–10 breaths or until
a sense of calmed energy is achieved. Wilkinson et al ( 2001)
Single nose breathing techniques
Right Nostril Breathing
1. Close off the left nostril with the index finger.2. Inhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril untilyou feel a sense of fullness in the lungs.3. Hold the breath for a count of three seconds.4. Exhale slowly and completely through the right nostril.5. Complete this cycle of breathing seven to ten times or
until a sense of being energized occurs.
Wilkinson et al ( 2001)
Left Nostril Breathing
1. Close off the right nostril with the index finger.2. Follow the same procedure as for right nostril breathingexcept breathe through the left nostril for a sense ofcalmness.Research shows that practicing for 10 minutes brings the most benefits.
WIlkinson et al ( 2001)
Other Kinds of Breathing Techniques for Anxiety
Box Breathing for Anxiety
When you are scared or anxious and notice your are breathing too fast, boxed breathing and help you to return your breathing pattern to a relaxed rhythm.
Sit upright in a comfortable chair. Place your feet flat on the floor.
- Tiwari, N., & Baldwin, D. S. (2012). Yogic breathing techniques in the management of anxiety and depression: Systematic review of evidence of efficacy and presumed mechanism of action. _Mind & Brain_, 3(1)Retrieved from http://nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1125078655?accountid=13217
- WILKINSON, L.; BUBOLTZ JR., W. C.; SEEMANN, E. Using Breathing Techniques to Ease Test Anxiety. **Guidance & Counselling**, _[s. l.]_, v. 16, n. 3, p. 76, 2001. Disponível em: https://search-ebscohost-com.proxy141.nclive.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=7267675&site=ehost-live. Acesso em: 1 ago. 2022.
- Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic-Workbook (Fourth Edition), by David H. Barlow and Michelle G. Craske, (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007), 212 pp., $29.95 paperback.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy : Core Principles for Practice (1). Hoboken, US: Wiley, 2012. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 4 December 2016.
Disclaimer: Medical information obtained from this website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider.
Medical information obtained from this website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider.