4 Breathing Techniques to Ease Anxiety

Controlled breathing techniques can help you calm your mind and even ease the physical symptoms of anxiety. Next time you’re stressed, try these breathing techniques!

Related: Yoga for Concentration, Yoga Poses to Wake You Up

You might think that stopping for a breath sounds a little bit trite. This is some age-old advice, for sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s not helpful. There’s actually research showing that breathing techniques can not only help with stress in the short term but even help improve anxiety and depression in the long term. Ten minutes of deep breathing each day may even be able to help you manage high blood pressure.

Caveat: I am not a doctor. Before you use breathing techniques to treat any illness, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.

What I love about controlled breathing techniques is that you can practice them anywhere. You don’t need special clothing or equipment. You can breathe at your desk, on the train, or even at a stop light in your car. I’ve selected a few different deep breathing exercises for the list below, so you can pick and choose what you’re most comfortable doing, depending on where you’re able to practice.

4 Breathing Techniques for Anxiety

1. Sama Vritti

This yoga breathing technique is also called equal — or balanced breath. You focus on your breath, keeping the inhale and exhale durations the same. This focus on breath helps you not only inhale deeply but exhale all of the oxygen from your lungs on the exhale. It’s a nice, subtle breathing exercise that you can practice anywhere without drawing attention to what you’re doing.

2. Alternate Nostril Breathing

Nadi Shodhan pranayama — alternate nostril breathing — is a little bit less subtle. You use your finger to pinch one or the other nostril closed. By breathing through alternate sides of the nose, you help balance your mood. It’s very calming!

3. Abdominal Breathing

Did you know that when you’re breathing properly, your belly should rise and fall more than your chest does? This technique brings your awareness to that diaphragmatic breath. It’s a deeply relaxing breathing exercise!

4. Kapalabhati

This is also called the shining skull breath or breath of fire, and it’s a cleansing, energizing breathing technique. You may not think that energizing and anxiety relief go together, but this breathing technique is excellent for anxiety. This exercise turns your breathing on its head, which helps you shake up your mood. It focuses on the exhale, and that might feel a little bit strange at first. Don’t worry! You’re breathing in automatically. This exercise turns your breathing on its head, which helps you shake up your mood.

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Emma Z
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Paulo R
Paulo R17 days ago

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Lisa M22 days ago

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Lisa M22 days ago

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Elena P24 days ago

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Elena Poensgen
Elena P24 days ago

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Brett Cloud7 months ago

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Joanne p10 months ago

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