Anxiety is an average human being’s reaction to stress. While it may be troublesome, anxiety can pose as a normal coping mechanism and motivational tool. There are times when anxiety gets to the best of us and derails our daily lives causing sleep disturbances, illnesses and fatigue.
Yoga breathing exercises can help calm a person’s anxiety by slowing breath and slowing the rate at which the heart beats. Breathing exercises also mimic meditation, thereby putting focus on the breath and clearing racing thoughts.
Conscious breathing exercise is about being aware of one’s breathing. When a person is stressed or anxious, he/she tends to take shallow breaths and breathe from the shoulders. A proper breathing technique involves expanding the diaphragm and lungs without bothering the shoulders. To do conscious breathing, sit in a comfortable position and place one hand on the belly and the other on the chest. Close eyes, breathe normally and pay attention to the breathing rate, how the air fills the lungs and the rise and fall of your chest. Do conscious breathing for at least five minutes.
Alternate nostril breathing
To do the alternate nostril breathing exercise, sit comfortably on a flat surface in an upright position. Close the right nostril using the right thumb and inhale slowly through the left nostril. Use the right ring finger to close the left nostril, remove the thumb from the right nostril and slowly exhale through the right nostril. Conclude the exercise by inhaling through the right nostril, closing the right nostril with the right thumb and exhaling through the left nostril. Repeat the exercise at least three times.
Bumble bee breathing exercise
To do the bumble bee breathing exercise, sit upright on a flat surface in a comfortable position. Make sure that your shoulders are relaxed and neutral and that your chest is open. Slowly inhale from the abdomen and fill the lungs to its maximum capacity. Pause for a few seconds, preferably three, and exhale slowly with the help of your tongue to make a buzzing sound like that of a bee. Repeat the exercise three to five times while pausing for about three seconds between each inhale and exhale session.
Make sure that you exercise by breathing meticulously throughout each session. If you suffer from asthma or lose breath frequently, ask your doctor if you are fit to do the breathing exercises to beat anxiety.