In 2000, a new Guinness world record for circular breathing was set by Vann Burchfield. He held a continuous note for 47 minutes and six seconds, beating out Kenny G, the former record holder. However, proper breathing is useful for more than just setting world records! Anxiety breathing exercises, in particular, can help individuals who have difficulty coping with stressful situations.
Step One: Understanding the various breathing exercises for relaxation.
Anxiety breathing exercises can teach a person how to take control of irregular breathing often experienced in moments of anxiety. Controlled breathing not only makes a person feel more in control of a situation, but it can lead to a reduction in stress.
The Buteyko Method
This method is sometimes used to help asthmatics get enough oxygen during an asthma attack, but it can also apply when a person is experiencing anxiety and having trouble breathing. To use this method, if you feel out of breath, breathe very slowly and shallowly through the nose.
The Relaxing Sigh
While sitting or standing up straight, sigh deeply. After the air rushes from your lungs, breathe in new air naturally, and repeat until you feel relaxed. The very act of sighing releases tension, and by repeating the process between eight and ten times, you can get more oxygen into your system while you relieve anxiety.
The Measured Breath
Sitting or standing, keep your shoulders and your jaw relaxed. Breathe in slowly, through your nose, to the count of four. As you breathe in you should feel your stomach expand. Hold the breath for just a moment, and then breathe out either to the count of four, or the count of seven, whichever is more comfortable. Repeat as needed until you feel calm.
Step Two: Using exercises to improve breathing.
You should be practicing these exercises even when you’re not feeling anxious, because, believe it or not, they do take practice. When anxiety strikes, everything from breathing to processing information becomes more difficult. If you’ve practiced these exercises, you’ll be better equipped to perform them well when you do feel anxious. Practice them whenever you’re not actively experiencing anxiety, so that you can figure out which ones make you feel the most relaxed.
Step Three: Putting stress relief breathing into practice.
After you have made anxiety breathing exercises a habit that you automatically pick up when you feel anxious, putting them into practice should come naturally. Whether you can feel anxiety slowly build up, or you are in the middle of a very stressful situation, pick one of the breathing exercises and focus on just getting your breathing right. Improving the flow of oxygen to your body and your brain and focusing on just this one thing, will help towards letting go of the anxiety. Follow these three simple steps and see for yourself how proper breathing can really make a noticeable difference.