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  • Amy Duffy-Barnes

Eight Breathing Techniques to Reduce Anxiety






Calming breathing techniques are a simple and effective way to bring relaxation and stress relief to the body and mind. There are many different types of calming breathing techniques, each with its own unique set of benefits.

  1. 4-7-8 Breathing: This technique involves inhaling for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of seven, and exhaling for a count of eight. This helps to slow down the breath and can be particularly effective for inducing relaxation.

  2. Equal Breathing: This technique involves inhaling and exhaling for an equal count, such as inhaling for a count of five and exhaling for a count of five. This helps to bring balance to the breath and can be calming.

  3. Belly Breathing: This technique involves focusing on the breath moving in and out of the belly, rather than the chest. Put one hand on your belly and one on your chest and feel your breath as each rises and falls. This can help to relax the body and calm the mind.

  4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: This technique involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body, starting at your head and working down to your feet. As you tense each muscle group, take a deep breath in, and as you relax the muscle group, exhale.

  5. Guided Imagery: This technique involves using the imagination to visualize a calming scene or experience, such as a peaceful beach or a gentle rainstorm. Notice, the sounds, the scenery, and the way your body feels in this place/experience. As you visualize this scene, focus on your breath and try to let go of any racing thoughts or worries.

  6. Alternate Nostril Breathing: This technique involves using the thumb and finger of one hand to alternate closing off each nostril as you inhale and exhale. This helps to balance the flow of air and can be calming.

  7. Box Breathing: This technique involves inhaling for a count of four, holding the breath for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, and holding the breath again for a count of four before starting the cycle over again. This helps to bring focus and awareness to the breath.

  8. Humming Breath: This technique involves exhaling with a humming sound, such as "ohmmm." The vibration of the humming can help to calm the mind and relax the body.

Overall, calming breathing techniques can be an excellent tool for managing stress and bringing relaxation to the body and mind. It is important to find a technique that works best for you and to make time for regular practice in order to experience the full benefits.

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