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Breath Therapy How To Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Breath Therapy: How To Reduce Stress and Anxiety

You can reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions with these three simple breath therapy exercises.

Breath therapy or breathwork involves intentionally controlling your breath to improve well-being.

These simple breathing exercises allow you to gain more control of your emotions, perspective, and surroundings.

Life is constantly moving. There are emails that need responses, errands to be run, and goals to strive toward. It's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and lose your balance; but breath therapy is one way to regain your footing, center your emotions, and focus on the present moment.

The benefits of breathwork

Breathwork or breath therapy involves bringing conscious attention to your breathing. The idea is that altering how you breathe can impact your autonomic nervous system. You can deactivate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) with proper breathing techniques.

Incorrect breathing techniques, like shallow and rapid breaths, activates your SNS. When the SNS is activated, you might have symptoms like tension, anxiety, anger, irritability, fear, or even depression.

The PNS is associated with rest and digestion and helps you calm down. Intentionally shifting your breath to activate the PNS can increase awareness of your emotions and thoughts. Breath therapy might help regulate your mood and improve your focus and mindfulness.


Box breathing

Box breathing is a valuable breathing technique you can use to increase your concentration and reduce stress. You can use this technique nearly anywhere and anytime.

1. Start by exhaling slowly to remove all the oxygen from your lungs.
2. Inhale slowly through your nose for four seconds.
3. Hold this breath for another four seconds.
4. Exhale through your mouth for four seconds and focus on the feeling of your abdomen.
5. Hold your breath for another four seconds before repeating the process.

The physiological sigh

The physiological sigh is something everyone does throughout the day without even noticing it. The breathing pattern involves two inhales through the nose followed by a long exhale. We use this technique before we fall asleep, during sleep, and when we cry. However, manually utilizing this technique can make you feel more relaxed, slow your heart rate, and reduce stress.

1. Take two quick inhales through your nose.
2. Take a long exhale through your mouth, almost as if breathing through a straw.

Alternate nostril breathing

Alternate nostril breathing is a breathing technique used in yoga and meditation. This exercise can be done anywhere and may help you relax and feel less anxious.

1. Start by exhaling slowly to remove all the oxygen from your lungs.
2. Cover your right nostril with your right thumb.
3. Slowly breathe in from your left nostril.
4. Cover your left nostril with your finger and exhale from your right nostril.
5. Slowly breathe in from your right nostril.
6. Cover your right nostril with your finger and exhale from your left nostril to finish one cycle. Repeat the process as needed.

These are just a few of the breath therapy exercises you can use to reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions. These techniques can be helpful when you're overwhelmed at the office or need a little extra concentration. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying if you have any health concerns.

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