Thursday, 9 February 2012

Breathing Exercises To Relieve Anxiety |

Stress and an anxiety are different sides of the same coin. Stress is a condition or event that the body perceives as a danger and can last anywhere from a few minutes to several months. Anxiety is the physical, mental and emotional response to stress. Normal anxiety usually passes once the stress passes. There are also anxiety disorders in which people feel severely negative responses to unknown or unnameable stressors. These disorders are often treated with medication and therapy. It is possible, however, to relieve normal anxiety, and even reduce the symptoms of the more severe forms of anxiety, with simple breathing and relaxation exercises.


People under stress tend to round and slump their shoulders, which compresses the thoracic cavity and constricts breathing. As a result, breathing is shallow and incomplete. Before starting any breathing exercise, pay attention to your posture. Bring the shoulders back and down to a neutral position, open the chest and yawn two or three times to open the throat. All of this will make the breathing exercises easier.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is part of normal breathing and the foundation of all breathing exercises. Lie on your back and support the head and knees with pillows or cushions. Place one hand on your belly, just above the navel, and another hand on your chest. Take normal breaths through the nose and exhale through the mouth.Your belly should expand on inhale, followed by the chest.

Pursed Lip Breathing

Sit upright in a comfortable position, keeping the shoulders neutral and chest open. Inhale deeply through your nose and let the chest and diaphragm fully expand. Purse the lips, as if whistling, and exhale slowly. Make a slight hissing sound with each exhale. Repeat this exercise five times.

Forced Exhalation

Sit or lie in a comfortable position, keeping the shoulders neutral and the chest open. Inhale deeply, through your nose, and let the chest and diaphragm fully expand. Hold the breath for a count of thee. Contract the abs and exhale forcefully, as if blowing out birthday candles. Repeat this exercise five times.  


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