With the current pandemic and lockdown restrictions its clear our mental health is being challenged. Using your breath to help reduce anxiety and stress can be extremely powerful yet simple in managing these feelings.
- Abdominal Breathing
- Abdominal breathing, also known as natural breathing, is one of the simplest breathing techniques for reducing anxiety. It can be done without anyone noticing. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach. Slowly take a deep breath in through the nose and feel the hand on your stomach move as you inflate your diaphragm. Slowly release your breath and repeat.
- Counting Breaths
- This one takes a bit longer to do, as it’s for a count of ten but it helps relax your mind and body and release you from stress. Take a long, deep breath in. Slowly exhale, visualise all your anxious thoughts releasing out with your breath. Close your eyes and take ten natural, easy breaths count down from ten with each Breath in, breath out – 10. Breath in, breath out – 9 and so on until you reach 1. Notice any tension and allow it to relax. Repeat if needed.
- Alternate Nostril Breathing
- Alternate nostril breathing is exactly what it sounds like and it can help calm your nervous system instantly. Seal your right nostril with your finger. Take a deep breath through the left nostril. Switch nostrils and seal your left one with your finger. Slowly exhale. Repeat through the right nostril and continue until you feel calm.
- Kim Fletcher