anxiety relief through breathing

4 Best Breathing Techniques for Anxiety Relief

Feeling like a fish out of water? Anxiety can make you feel like you're gasping for air, struggling to find solid ground. But fear not, as there are four breathing techniques that can help you find your calm amidst the storm.

These techniques have been proven to alleviate anxiety and bring tranquility back into your life.

So, if you're ready to take a deep breath and dive into the world of relaxation, keep reading to discover the best breathing techniques that will help you find serenity in the midst of chaos.

Key Takeaways

  • Diaphragmatic breathing activates the body's relaxation response and reduces physiological symptoms of anxiety.
  • Box breathing calms the nervous system, improves focus and concentration, and enhances stress management skills.
  • 4-7-8 breathing induces deep relaxation, increases mental clarity, and diverts attention from anxious thoughts.
  • Alternate nostril breathing promotes relaxation and stress reduction, enhances mental clarity and focus, and balances energy in the body.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

To help alleviate anxiety, try practicing diaphragmatic breathing, a technique that involves using your diaphragm to take deep, controlled breaths. Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing or deep breathing, has numerous benefits for reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.

One of the key benefits of diaphragmatic breathing is its ability to activate the body's relaxation response. When you take slow, deep breaths using your diaphragm, it sends a signal to your brain to calm down and relax. This can help to counteract the physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate and shallow breathing.

To practice diaphragmatic breathing, start by finding a comfortable and quiet place to sit or lie down. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise as you fill your lungs with air. Exhale slowly through your mouth, focusing on letting go of any tension or stress. Repeat this process for several minutes, allowing your body to relax with each breath.

Incorporating diaphragmatic breathing into your daily routine can have a profound impact on reducing anxiety and promoting overall well-being. By taking the time to practice this simple technique, you can experience the benefits of deep relaxation and find relief from anxiety.

Box Breathing

If you're looking for another effective breathing technique to help manage your anxiety, let's explore the practice of box breathing. Box breathing, also known as square breathing or four-square breathing, is a simple yet powerful technique that can be done anywhere, anytime, to help calm your mind and reduce stress. It involves inhaling, holding your breath, exhaling, and then holding your breath again in a rhythmic pattern.

Here's how you can do box breathing:

  1. Find a comfortable position and relax your body.
  2. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of four.
  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four.
  5. Hold your breath again for a count of four.
  6. Repeat these steps for several minutes, focusing on your breath and maintaining a steady rhythm.

By practicing box breathing, you activate your body's relaxation response and increase the flow of oxygen to your brain. This can help reduce anxiety, promote a sense of calmness, and improve your overall well-being. Some variations of box breathing include adjusting the count to six or eight, depending on your comfort level.

Benefits of box breathing for stress management include:

  • Calming the nervous system and reducing the fight-or-flight response.
  • Improving focus, concentration, and mental clarity.
  • Enhancing your ability to manage and cope with stress.
  • Promoting relaxation and deepening the mind-body connection.

Give box breathing a try and experience its soothing effects on your anxiety and stress levels.

4-7-8 Breathing

Consider incorporating -8 breathing into your anxiety relief routine for a deep sense of relaxation and increased mental clarity. -8 breathing, also known as counting breaths or mindful counting, is a simple yet effective technique that can help you manage your anxiety levels.

This technique involves inhaling deeply through your nose to a count of eight, holding your breath for another count of eight, and then exhaling slowly through your mouth to a count of eight.

Deep breathing exercises like -8 breathing can activate the body's relaxation response, slowing down your heart rate and promoting a sense of calm. By focusing on the counting, you divert your attention away from anxious thoughts and redirect it towards your breath. This mindful breathing technique allows you to become fully present in the moment, helping to quiet the mind and alleviate anxiety.

To practice -8 breathing, find a comfortable position and close your eyes if it helps you to relax. Take a deep breath in, counting to eight in your mind. Hold your breath for a count of eight, and then exhale slowly to another count of eight. Repeat this cycle for a few minutes or until you feel a deep sense of calm and relaxation.

Incorporating -8 breathing into your daily routine can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety. So the next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a few moments to practice this deep breathing exercise and experience the soothing effects it can have on your mind and body.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Now let's explore another effective breathing technique to add to your anxiety relief routine: alternate nostril breathing.

This technique is rooted in ancient yogic practices and can provide mental clarity and stress reduction.

Alternate nostril breathing involves using your fingers to gently close one nostril while inhaling through the other, then switching sides and exhaling through the opposite nostril. This rhythmic pattern of breath helps balance the flow of energy in your body, promoting a sense of calm and clarity.

Here are five benefits of incorporating alternate nostril breathing into your anxiety relief routine:

  • Promotes relaxation: By focusing on your breath and alternating nostrils, you can activate the body's relaxation response, reducing feelings of stress and tension.
  • Enhances mental clarity: This technique can help clear your mind and improve focus, allowing you to approach situations with a calm and centered mindset.
  • Balances energy: Alternate nostril breathing helps balance the left and right sides of your brain, promoting harmony and equilibrium within your body.
  • Reduces anxiety symptoms: By engaging in this breathing technique, you can decrease anxiety symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, and racing thoughts.
  • Improves overall well-being: Regular practice of alternate nostril breathing can contribute to a greater sense of overall well-being and emotional stability.

Incorporating alternate nostril breathing into your anxiety relief routine can be a powerful tool for achieving mental clarity and reducing stress. Take a few moments each day to practice this technique and experience its calming benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Breathing Techniques Completely Cure Anxiety?

Breathing techniques alone may not completely cure anxiety, but they can be a helpful tool in managing symptoms. Integrating them into your daily life, along with therapy, can provide relief and improve overall well-being.

Can These Breathing Techniques Be Practiced While Doing Other Activities?

Yes, breathing techniques can be incorporated into daily routines. They can be practiced while doing other activities, like walking or sitting at your desk. They improve focus and concentration by calming the mind and bringing awareness to the present moment.

Are There Any Side Effects of Practicing These Breathing Techniques?

There may be some side effects of practicing breathing techniques, such as lightheadedness or dizziness. However, the effectiveness of these techniques for anxiety relief is well-documented. It's important to listen to your body and seek guidance if you experience any discomfort.

How Long Does It Take for These Breathing Techniques to Provide Relief From Anxiety Symptoms?

Breathing techniques can provide relief from anxiety symptoms, and the duration of this relief varies. Like a soothing wave, these techniques can help calm your mind and body, offering a sense of relief that may last for a few minutes or even several hours.

Can These Breathing Techniques Be Beneficial for Individuals With Chronic Anxiety Disorders?

Incorporating breathing techniques into your daily routine can bring benefits for individuals with chronic anxiety disorders. These exercises can help you manage your symptoms and provide a sense of calm and relaxation.


In conclusion, learning and practicing these breathing techniques can greatly help in relieving anxiety.

While it may seem difficult or time-consuming at first, it's important to remember that taking care of your mental health is essential.

By incorporating these techniques into your daily routine, you can regain control over your anxiety and experience a greater sense of calmness and well-being.

Don't let the fear of trying something new hold you back from finding relief and peace of mind.