6 Breathing Techniques You Need To Try

Anxious Extrovert1st April 202110 min

The following techniques can be used when you feel a panic or anxiety attack coming on or to calm down afterwards. They can also be practiced for up to 5 minutes a day as part of your normal routine and help you to de-stress or sleep.

1. Pursed Lip Breathing

Do this whilst standing, sitting or lying down, keeping your shoulders, neck and jaw relaxed:

  • Inhale slowly through your nose (you could count up to 5)
  • Purse your lips (like you’re about to whistle or blow) and slowly breathe out (you could count up to 5)

2. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Lie on your back, with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest:

  • Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling your belly rise as you breathe in (make sure your chest isn’t rising - this means you’re breathing through your chest, not your belly)
  • Slowly breathe out through your mouth, feeling your belly shrink

3. Alternate Nostril Breathing

In a comfortable sitting position, lift your thumb and your index finger and tuck your other fingers into the palm of your hand:

  • Place your right thumb over your right nostril and breathe in slowly through your left nostril
  • Hold the breath, with your index finger cover your left nostril and uncover your right nostril 
  • Breathe out through your right nostril 
  • Breathe back in through your right nostril 
  • Place your right thumb back over your right nostril and breathe out slowly through your left nostril

4. Deep Nose Breathing

Sit or stand, relax your shoulders, neck and jaw:

  • Take a deep breath in through your nose
  • Hold the breath for 5 seconds
  • Slowly exhale through your nose

5. Humming Bee Breath

Practice this one sitting in a comfortable position, somewhere you can make a noise:

  • Take a deep breath in 
  • Place your index fingers over your tragus on both ears
  • As you exhale, gently push down on your tragus to cover your ear canal 
  • As you’re exhaling, make a loud humming sound
  • Release your fingers from your ears before inhaling again

6. Box Breathing 

Do this whilst standing, sitting or lying down, keeping your shoulders, neck and jaw relaxed. It may help to visualise drawing each side of a square at each step, one round of breathing will create one box.

  • Exhale to empty your lungs for 4 seconds
  • Keep your lungs empty for 4 seconds
  • Inhale to fill your lungs for 4 seconds
  • Keep the air in your lungs for 4 seconds

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