I know what you’re thinking. I already know how to breathe, it’s probably the first thing I learnt how to do. Like, ever. But did you know, that by concentrating on your breathing for just a few minutes, you can reduce the feelings of anxiety and stress that can pop up when school, work, or just life in general start to weigh you down?
When you breathe in, your body absorbs oxygen from the air around you, and when you breathe out, it gets rid of carbon dioxide.
When you’re stressed, your body can subconsciously take smaller, shallower breaths from the diaphragm, meaning you’re not taking in enough oxygen or getting rid of enough carbon dioxide, disrupting the natural flow.
This imbalance of gases in the body can increase the feelings of stress and anxiety because you’re feeling physically tense.
Better Health recommends that sitting in a quiet area for 10-20 minutes to concentrate on your breathing can allow you to collect yourself and relax, overcoming the physical and therefore the mental feeling of anxiety.
The key is abdominal breathing. The best way to achieve this is to place a hand on your chest and a hand on your stomach. Try to concentrate on slowly expanding your stomach, whilst keeping your chest still.
With each breath, allow any tension in your body to slip away.
Make sure you sit and enjoy the feeling you get from taking big breaths, allowing yourself to feel calm and relaxed.