Have you ever felt like you couldn’t catch your breath?
Whether you are going through an intense time, have a hard time slowing down to relax, or find it hard to stop thinking about all the what if’s, they all impact your breath. But often focusing on how we breathe is the last thing we think to try when we are feeling anxious or stressed.
Because it involves slowing down and tuning into ourselves, which for many of us is the opposite of what we do when we’re anxious. Instead, we push ourselves harder or try to distract ourselves from what we’re feeling. While learning to focus on something other than worry is one of several ways to deal with anxiety, inviting calmer thinking can be helpful too.
How Breathing Exercises Helps Anxiety:
One way to invite the calm is to practice intentional breathing exercises. Because when we breathe in, our heart rate increases and when we breathe out it lowers our heart rate. Breathing exercises can also help you:
- Get out of your head and into your body
- Between therapy sessions to access calmer thinking
- Improve your mood
- Boost your energy
6 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety and Stress:
Whether you are feeling tense, tired, anxious, or awesome I invite you to try one of these 6 breathing exercises. Click here to see my playlist on YouTube of 6 breathing exercises. Pick a time daily to practice at least one of these exercises. Most of them are 5 minutes or less.
Remain curious about the exercises that feel the best to you. Some may make you feel more energized, while others may make you feel more relaxed. Note which ones would feel good in different situations. Then practice the ones you like best daily.
The more you practice intentional breathing exercises, the more comfortable you will feel using them.
Which of the breathing exercises do you like the best? How do you feel after you do them?
Marci Payne, MA, LPC is a professional counselor in Lee’s Summit MO who works with men, women, and teens who are stressed out, anxious and burned out. If you feel like anxiety or stress are getting in the way of you connecting with others or enjoying your life more, schedule a free 15-minute phone consult with Marci. Together, we will decide if I’m the best counselor for you.