14 Mar

Deep breathing is sometimes called called 4-4-4-4-breathing, or 4-7-8, or other titles.  Look up 4-4-4-4 or 4-7-8 on YouTube for clear instructions, and helpful meditative music and guidance. You can also read more here, and you're just getting started. Breathing is only one of many tools available to fight anxiety. Developing a practice of Mindfulness, learning the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and seeing a counselor, and even exercise are all proven ways of finding relief from anxiety.  

Deep breathing techniques have been shown to quickly lower anxiety in a physiological way. By slowing down our breathing, and using our diaphragm, we draw more air deeper into our lungs which feels refreshing. We can lower heart rate, blood pressure, the level of stress hormones in our bloodstream, and feel calmer and less tense. With just a few deep breaths we can begin to lower anxiety and stress and feel better.

Here's how to do it: Get in a comfortable posture either standing, sitting, or laying down. The technique then involves breathing in slowly and deeply through your nose for a count of four while pushing your stomach out. Then hold your breath for a count of four. Then slowly exhale for a count of four with your mouth slightly open. Then hold again for a count of four. It’s that simple. Use it for about five minutes and your anxiety level will go down, anytime you need it. You can also use it preventatively by making sure to practice breathing twice a day.

This technique has been used in one form or another in the practice of yoga, in some religious meditation or mindfulness meditation, and has also been scientifically studied. It is now one of our tried-and-true methods to combat anxiety, whether it is fear of getting a disease, or dealing with every day worry and stress.

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