A 5 Step Breathing Exercise To Help Calm Your Anxiety

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Sometimes the best quick fix to overcome anxious thoughts is to simply breathe. As cliche as it sounds, its a quick strategy that can result in relief and deter you from curling up in a ball to avoid a stressful situation. As overwhelming work, responsibility and general feelings of anxiety can be, its important to approach the issue head on and not let it fester.

Ally Bogard is a New York yoga instructor who believes the best way to deal with anxiety is in fact to just breathe. Bogard told MindBodyGreen that practicing using an activated breathing pattern (or diaphragmatic breathing), is the best way to relieve feelings of anxiety. By using this technique, you’re able to release any built-up tension in your organs, muscles and even your digestive system and get back to feeling at ease.

Here’s exactly how to do it:

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Lie down and breathe through your nose, deepening through your lower belly for five to 10 breaths.

Place one hand on your navel and apply light pressure between the navel and lower belly as you breathe deeply and engage the diaphragm.

Place your other hand on the base of your ribs on the side of your body. Feel your ribs widen into your hand as you breathe.

Move your hand from your ribs to a spot just lower than your collarbone. Continue to feel your deep breaths in your lower belly and ribs while beginning to bring it up near your collarbone.

Feel your breath go deep, wide, then high with each inhale before you let it go with an exhale. Continue for ten breaths.

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