5 Ways Controlled Breathing Helps with Anxiety and Depression

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Breathing exercises can be a powerful tool in managing anxiety and depression.

Controlled breathing, in particular, has been shown to be an effective way to reduce stress and create a sense of calm. Here are five ways controlled breathing can help with anxiety and depression:

1. Reduces Stress

Slow, deep breathing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to reduce stress. When we are stressed, our heart rate increases, our blood pressure rises, and our bodies produce more of the stress hormone cortisol.

Slow, deep breathing helps to slow down the heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce the levels of stress hormones in the body. This, in turn, creates a sense of relaxation.

There are many different ways to practice slow, deep breathing. One simple way is to count to four as you inhale, hold your breath for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of four. Repeat this cycle for a few minutes.

2. Improves Mood

Controlled breathing helps to improve your mood by releasing endorphins, the body's natural feel-good hormones. Endorphins can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and create a sense of well-being.

You can also practice progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and releasing certain muscle groups while focusing on your breath. Start by tensing the muscles in your feet, hold for a few seconds, and then release as you take a deep breath. Work your way up your body, tensing and releasing each muscle group as you inhale and exhale. 

3. Increases Focus

Controlled breathing can help to increase focus and concentration by calming the mind and allowing you to stay in the present moment. This can be especially helpful when dealing with overwhelming thoughts and feelings.

4. Supports Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful tool for living a more mindful, intentional life. It’s an approach to life that emphasizes being present in the moment, focusing on your thoughts and feelings, and being aware of your surroundings. One way to support a mindfulness practice is through controlled breathing. Controlled breathing can help to support a mindfulness practice by teaching you to stay in the present moment. This can be especially helpful if you’re trying to become more mindful in your daily life.

5. Increases Self-Awareness

Controlled breathing can help to increase your self-awareness by allowing you to become aware of your thoughts and feelings. This can be especially helpful in managing anxiety and depression by allowing you to recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious and take steps to address it.


We hope this article has helped you gain a better understanding of the benefits of controlled breathing. All in all, controlled breathing is a powerful tool for managing anxiety and depression. It can help to reduce stress, improve mood, increase focus, support mindfulness, and increase self-awareness. If you’re looking for a way to manage your anxiety and depression, controlled breathing may be a great option to explore.

Do you need breathwork facilitator training? At Elated You, we offer breathing training tailored to your individual needs. Our experienced trainers will guide you through the practice and provide you with the tools and techniques you need to become more connected with yourself and your inner power. Book a free discovery call today to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals!

Sarah looking at the camera

Written by

Sarah Michaels

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