Like most people, I have faced anxiety head on and found four exercises to help me win the battle against anxiety.
1. 4 7 8 Breathing
Practicing 4 7 8 Breathing is a way to intentionally slow down the heart rate and become more aware of the present moment. All you do is breath in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, then finally releasing your breath slowly for eight seconds. Practicing this breathwork technique can help reduce the impact of anxiety significantly.
2. Box Breathing
Box breathing is a well-known technique to enhance concentration, performance and stress relief. It's done by imagining a square as you breathe... For example, when you inhale for four seconds, imagine drawing an imaginary horizontal line, as you exhale, imagine a line being drawn downwards... Keep this process going until you complete the square. It is recommended to do this for 5 minutes or so for the powerful calming effects to take place.
3. Belly Breathing
Belly breathing is a simple technique that can help us feel calmer instantly. All you do is take a deep breath through your nose, feeling the breath move down and your belly rise. Then exhale through your mouth, such that your hand just below the rib cage falls inward. Keep your hand on your chest still. Do this for about five minutes or until symptoms reduce.
4. Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate nostril breathing is a calming and purifying technique that helps to open the flow of energy through the body. It is often practiced before meditation and is believed to balance the pineal glands function. To practice this breathing, start by sitting up and gently using the right thumb to close the right nostril... Take a slow and deep inhale through the left nostril, which is open. While you are holding your breath, use the right ring finger to close the left nostril while exhaling through the right nostril. Continue this pattern of alternating nostrils until you have completed a few moments of breathing.
Breathwork is an incredibly powerful and effective tool for managing anxiety. By committing to a regular practice of breathwork exercises and meditation, you can quickly and easily incorporate this powerful self-care tool into your daily routine.
So go ahead and give it a try—it might just be the perfect antidote for anxiety!
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