Two Simple Ways to Exhale Anxiety

By quieting the mind, we can reduce those thoughts that cause agitation and self-doubt and distract us from the present moment.

A centuries-old way of quieting the mind is the use of controlled breathing techniques (pranayama) to expand our life force and clear the cobwebs from our gray matter. It relaxes our body and cleans the lens of human perception.

Some of the techniques are simple, and since we have to breathe anyway we might as well use the breath to help ourselves feel better. Air is also a bargain, available everywhere and free to use.

Cool Yourself Down

In this exercise, you cool your system down by drawing your in-breath over your tongue. This is called the Sitali pranayama, and it will improve focus, reduce anxiety and agitation, and calm anger. This is a good exercise to eliminate feelings of lethargy or drowsiness as well.

You might try this a couple of times each day for a week to see if it helps your anxiety, and use it any time you feel your symptoms are on the rise. It is likely an exercise you will want to do in the privacy of your home. Those who don’t know what you are doing may think you are strange.

Sit on a chair or the floor; sit naturally tall and relax your shoulders.

  • Bend your head slightly forward to lower your chin and curl the sides of your tongue up and in so that your tongue becomes a straw.
  • Slowly inhale through the straw while raising your chin to the ceiling as far as you comfortably can.
  • Pull in your tongue so the mouth is closed and exhale through your nose as you slowly drop your chin back down.
  • If you are not used to breathing exercises, start out with four repetitions and gradually work up to at least eight.
  • Not everyone has the genetic gift of being able to curl his or her tongue, but there are plenty of other exercises to try.

A Longer Out-Breath

Having your exhale a bit longer than your inhale has a calming effect on the body. Here is an exercise you can do before you get out of bed or after crawling in.

  • Lie on the floor (preferably), knees bent and hip-width apart; place the palm of either hand on your abdomen and feel your abdomen expand as you breathe.
  • Count the length of a few inhalations and exhalations and adjust your breathing, if necessary, so that they are equal.
  • Keeping your inhale the same, but slowly increase the length of your exhale by gently contracting your abdomen at the bottom of your exhale. Only a second or two longer is enough to start calming the body.
  • Gradually adjust your breathing until your exhale is twice as long as your inhale. Do not lengthen the exhale any further.
  • Your breathing should remain smooth and feel effortless. If it does not, shorten the exhale until you are comfortable again.
  • Before sitting up, shorten your exhale until it is again the same length as your inhale; get up slowly.

Source: Yoga Journal
Photo: Px Here

Anxiety Support Groups

Latest Post by JustJules Wed, 10/16/2019 - 1:01pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by MillieM Wed, 10/16/2019 - 11:13am
Comments: 0
Latest Post by MillieM Wed, 10/16/2019 - 11:17am
Comments: 3
Latest Post by MillieM Wed, 10/16/2019 - 11:31am
Comments: 2

More Articles

The adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, produce a variety of essential hormones. When these glands don't produce enough of one or more of...

Hoarding is the behavior of acquiring an excessive number of items that have little or no value. While many people consider themselves to be "pack...

There are a number of herbal remedies touted as treatments for anxiety, and it can be hard to know which ones actually work and which are little...

The monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) tranylcypromine (brand name: Parnate) is an antidepressant sometimes used for the treatment of anxiety...

There are several ways right in your home to lift your spirits, reduce anxiety, and invite more restful sleep. Based on my own experiences and...

More Articles

Controlling anxiety is never an easy thing to do. Some suffering from an anxiety disorder chooses to take medication to ease their symptoms.

...

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has received a fair amount of media and research attention lately, with the return of soldiers fighting in...

While many anxiety disorders are very responsive to treatment, compulsive hoarding is a unique disorder which defies classification and tends to...

There are two main strategies used to overcome social anxiety disorder (sometimes called “social phobia”). The first is medication and the second...

The revised psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSM-5, has an interesting addition: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

So ladies, if...

Ativan (available generically as lorazepam) is a powerful anti-anxiety drug in the class of medications known as benzodiazepines. It is a fast-...

Dealing with the anxiety and depression of losing a loved one is difficult and can be hard to manage, but being able to move on from tragedy will...

What is an Anxiety Disorder? An “anxiety disorder” is an umbrella term that refers to a number of different mental health conditions. While...

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), are a class of...

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (ODC) is, as its name implies, characterized by a combination of obsessions and compulsions. Most of us know at...

A team of neuroscientists from the New School for Social Research in New York has announced that not only are the areas of the brain responsible...

Anxiety levels can be affected by a number of different physiological disorders, including the common sleep disorder known as sleep apnea....

If it seems nearly impossible to get something off your mind, your anxiety might be out of control. Getting a handle on your anxiety will allow...

Ludiomil (generic: maprotiline) is a tetracyclic antidepressant used for the treatment of depression and anxiety. As with any medication, there...

Anxiety dizziness is an uncomfortable inner feeling of confusion. The word is used to describe so many different sensations, your health care...