In this article, we will explore what our anxious mind is trying to tell us, understand the benefits of deep breathing, and provide a practical guide on how to incorporate this technique into your daily life to bring calm to an anxious mind.


Our Mind Is Constantly Telling Us Story and Generating Anxiety

The human mind is a remarkable storyteller, constantly weaving narratives about the past and future. 


While this ability is essential for our survival, it can also be a breeding ground for anxiety. 


An anxious mind tends to fixate on hypothetical scenarios, anticipating the worst possible outcomes. The mind becomes entangled in a web of "what ifs" and catastrophic predictions, leading to heightened stress levels.


Understanding this tendency is crucial in managing anxiety. 


When the mind experiences anxiety, the body undergoes a series of physiological responses. 



These reactions, designed for survival in immediate threats, persist in modern stressors, leading to chronic physical symptoms. The mind-body connection is evident as anxiety manifests physically and by recognizing that much of the anxiety stems from the stories our minds create, we can begin to take steps towards breaking free from their grip. 


In our modern society, which often prioritizes addressing the root cause of anxiety with talking with our mind, talk therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication remain the mainstream solutions for chronic anxiety. 


However, alternative modalities with a body-first approach exist and are proven even more efficient. Deep breathing is an efficient yet frequently overlooked solution. Deep breathing serves as a powerful tool in disrupting these anxious narratives, offering a pathway to calm and clarity and bring back our focus to our body.

 

how deep breathing can calm anxiety

Benefits of Deep Breathing on Anxiety

Deep breathing acts as a counterbalance to the physiological responses triggered by anxiety. 


When we feel anxious, our bodies enter the "fight or flight" mode, releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a relaxation response that counteracts the stress response. This shift helps reduce the overall physiological arousal associated with anxiety.


On top, deep breathing enhances oxygenation of the body and brain, improving cognitive function and concentration. It brings attention to the present moment, diverting focus from anxious thoughts about the past or future. The rhythmic nature of deep breathing also regulates the heartbeat, promoting a sense of stability and calmness.


Research indicates that regular practice of deep breathing can lead to long-term improvements in anxiety levels. By incorporating this simple yet effective technique into our daily routines, we empower ourselves to manage stress more effectively and cultivate a calmer, more resilient mind.

 

 Also Read: The Best Ways to Improve Your Lung Capacity – Oxa

How to Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a straightforward and accessible practice that can be done anywhere, at any time. Here's a step-by-step guide to incorporating deep breathing into your daily life:


  1. Choose a quiet and comfortable environment where you won't be disturbed.
  2. Adopt a relaxed and upright posture. You can sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor or lie down on your back.
  3. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your lungs to fill with air.
  4. Pay attention to the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your body. Notice the expansion and contraction of your abdomen and the rise and fall of your chest. 
  5. Gradually extend the duration of your inhalations and exhalations. Aim for a slow and controlled pace.
  6. As you inhale and exhale, count each breath. This simple technique helps maintain focus and rhythm.
  7. Continue deep breathing for 5-10 minutes, gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable with the practice.

For those seeking additional guidance, the Oxa breathing coach will guide you with breathing exercises and resources to enhance your overall well-being.


By committing to bringing calm to your anxious mind with deep breathing, you take proactive steps toward managing anxiety and discovering a valuable ally–your breath. In the gentle rhythm of each breath, you find a sanctuary where the anxious narratives lose their power, allowing calm and resilience to flourish. As you embrace this simple yet profound practice, may each inhale and exhale become a soothing melody, guiding you towards a serene state of mind!

Also Read: How to Calm Your Mind When You Feel Distressed – Oxa


FAQ

Q: How long should I practice deep breathing to experience its benefits?

Consistency matters more than duration. Start with 5-10 minutes daily, gradually increasing as you become comfortable. Even short sessions can bring noticeable calmness to your anxious mind.


Q: Can I practice deep breathing anywhere, or do I need a specific environment?

Deep breathing is versatile. You can practice it anywhere, whether at home, work, or in nature. Choose a quiet space when possible, but adapt to your surroundings for a quick calming session.


Q: Can deep breathing help with immediate anxiety relief during stressful situations?

Absolutely. Deep breathing serves as an effective on-the-spot tool. Inhale slowly, hold briefly, and exhale gradually. This technique activates the relaxation response, providing quick relief during stressful moments.


Q 4: Are there variations of deep breathing, or is there a specific technique to follow?

There are various deep breathing techniques. The one described here involves slow inhalations and exhalations, focusing on the breath. Experiment with others like diaphragmatic breathing or box breathing to find what suits you best and check the Oxa app for more guidance.

Ready to begin?

Get the Oxa Sensor and your choice of garment - lounge-wear shirt, bra, or adjustable chest strap. Your purchase includes access to the Oxa app which gives personalized data summaries and insights, as well as access to breathing exercises to teach you how to harness the power of your own breath.