Undue stress and anxiety tail us every day. When we are anxious or stressed, we take short, swift and shallow breaths. At times, we don’t even realise that we are breathing fast and shallow. By deliberately reversing our breathing pattern to normal, we can reduce the adverse physiological effects of anxiety.
Controlled breathing exercise
1. Lie down or sit comfortably. It is better to sit upright as it enhances the capacity of the lungs to take in more air. Make sure your arms are relaxed by placing it on the laps.
2. Inhale slowly through your nose for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for a couple of seconds. Exhale slowly through your mouth counting up to 4. Wait for a couple of seconds before you resume your slow inhalation through your nose. Repeat this exercise at least for six times.
It isn’t imperative that one should be in a prior state of anxiety to do this breathing exercise.
3. Practicing this exercise at least once in two hours and before you start your work can make sure that anxiety doesn’t have much of a physiological impact on you.
4. This calming exercise controls the oxygen we inhale, which in turn, reduces or even prevents the dizziness and tingling sensation usually associated with high anxiety.
5. Controlled Breathing Exercise is an ongoing practice. As with any other practice, it takes time to master this breathing exercise. So, be patient and don’t judge yourself in the first few weeks of the practice.
Caution while practicing Controlled breathing exercise
If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, ensure that you visit a medical practioner. Don’t just depend on this breathing exercise to prevent the onset of panic attacks.
If you experience dizziness post this breathing exercise, it is better you discontinue it. Consult a concerned professional.