Tag Archives: deep breathing

2 Techniques to Release Anxiety

By: Gloria Marie

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With all the horrible, tragic events going on in our world, it is easy to absorb the energy from these events. Even if you weren’t directly affected, watching the news and feeling sorrow and empathy for the many tragedies will create anxiety and affect your energy. It is important during times like these to take the time to relax and release any anxiety or tension. Try these 2 techniques to release anxiety.

Breathing Technique
Breathing exercises are effective to release stress. Usually, we take our breathing for granted, but, with practice on this technique, you will have a great tool to use.
First, I want you to lie on the floor and put one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen. Take a deep breath in and then breathe out. Did the hand on your abdomen rise and expanded the most? If not, you are doing shallow breathing. To use breathing effectively, you need to practice abdominal breathing.
Practice abdominal breathing for a few minutes. Imagine that your abdomen is a balloon and that as you inhale you are filling it up with air. Keep your hands on your chest and abdomen to see where the expansion is. Now that you can do deep breathing practice the following techniques.

Breathing for Letting Go of Tension
1. Inhale and say to yourself, “Breath in.”
2. Hold your breath a moment before you exhale.
3. Exhale slowly and deeply as you say to yourself, “Relax.”
4. As you hold your breath for a moment, notice any parts of your body that you are holding tension. When you exhale, feel the tension leave your body.
5. Practice this for five to twenty minutes at a time.
6. Practice it in non-stressful situations a few times a day. When you are comfortable with the technique, practice it in stressful situations.

Use of a Mantra

A mantra is a short phrase or word that requires no special tools to use and over time can transform your consciousness. It is a simple spiritual practice that you can put into practice starting today.

“A mantram or mantra, as it often called – is a powerful spiritual formula, which, when repeated silently in the mind, has the capacity to transform consciousness. Eknath Easwaran

Select a mantra that works for you. There are mantras from all the religious traditions, and I have listed several examples below. Once you choose a mantra, silently repeat it. Repeat it while you are walking, while you are falling asleep, or while you are doing your chores. That is, it!

When you are stressed, repeat it, until the anxiety passes. Over time, it will become more and more powerful for you. Gandhi called his mantra, “His staff of life.” Start today to choose one, begin silently repeating it and you will have a staff of life.

Mantrams
Buddhist
Om mani padme hum
“The jewel in the lotus of the heart.”
Pronounced: ohm maa-nee paad-may-hoom

Christian
Jesus

Ave Maria or Hail Mary
“Ave Maria” means “Hail Mary” a mantram in honor of Mother Mary

My God and my all.
This was a phrase that Saint Francis used in his prayers

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.
The Jesus prayer

Kyrie Eleison or Lord have Mercy

Hindu
Rama
“The Lord as the source of abiding joy.”

Jewish
Barukh attah Adonal
“Blessed art thou, O Lord”
Pronounced: baa-rook aa-taa aa-doh-nai

Ribono shel olam
“Lord of the Universe”
Pronounced: rib-on-oh shell oh-lam

Muslim
Allah
The name of God.

Breathing Exercise for Anxiety

By: Gloria Marie

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Breathing is fundamental to our life and usually taken for granted. With every breath, you take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. You inhale a life force and exhale a waste product. Proper breathing techniques can release tension, stress, muscle tension and fatigue. Typically, there are two types of breathing patterns: chest breathing and abdominal breathing. We commonly use chest breath when we are under stress. It is shallow breathing. The chest expands and the shoulder rise to take in air. In abdominal breathing, inhaled air is drawn deep into the lungs as the abdomen expands. By becoming aware of your breathing patterns and shifting to more abdominal breathing, you can reduce stress related symptoms and muscle tension. Try this breathing exercise for anxiety.

Let’s discover how you currently breathe before we practice abdominal breathing. Put one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest. Observe your breath without trying to change it. Spend a few minutes just quietly observing. Take your time. Which hand rises more as you breathe? If it the hand on your chest, you are doing shallow chest breathing. If the hand on your abdomen is rising more, you are doing deep abdominal breathing. Our goal is to switch to abdominal breathing more.

To practice abdominal breathing, lie on your back on the floor, a bed or couch, whatever is most comfortable for you. Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen. Imagine that your abdomen is a balloon and that as you inhale you are filling it up with air. Try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. As you inhale, first your abdomen, then your middle chest and then your upper chest will expand in a smooth movement. Imagine filling a glass with water from the bottom to the top. Try to practice this a few minutes, until your inhale and exhale are smooth movements. When you have the technique, try doing it while sitting and standing. Try to practice this once or twice a day until it becomes naturally and flowing to you. As with most of the tools, it is best practiced in a non-stressful situation before you incorporate it into a fearful situation.

The following is a specific way to breath to release tension. You will use you abdominal breathing in a specific way. It is time to take it up a notch.
1. Inhale and say to yourself, “Breath in.” It is not necessary to put your hands on your chest and abdomen, unless you find that helpful.
2. Hold your breath a moment before your exhale.
3. exhale slowly and deeply as you say to yourself, “Relax.”
4. As you hold your breath for a moment, notice any parts of your body that you are holding tension. When you exhale, feel the tension leave your body.
5. Practice tis for five to ten minutes as a time.
6. Practice it in non-stressful situations a few times a day. When you are comfortable with the technique, practice it in stressful situations.

Watch the video and together we will practice this technique with soothing music in the background.