Breathing Technique for Anxiety

This will be part of a series of tips and tools to help with managing and understanding anxiety.

Breathwork can be helpful when learning to manage your anxiety when it shows up as it helps ground us and calms down the nervous system when we are in fight or flight mode.  Breathing correctly and with intention can also help reduce stress, create an overall sense of relaxation, and can be helpful as a part of your sleep hygiene routine to improve your rest at night.  

This particular technique is known as square or aka 4 count box breathing. This was one of the first tools I learned to manage my own anxiety way back when (maybe in high school so that’s dating myself a bit here!)… breathing correctly through your anxiety when it shows up is essential to getting through the distress! Here’s how you do this specific breathing technique:

*Begin by slowly exhaling all of your air out.
*Then, gently inhale through your nose to a slow count of 4.
*Hold at the top of the breath for a count of 4.
*Then gently exhale through your mouth or nose for a count of 4.
*At the bottom of the breath, pause and hold for the count of 4.
*Repeat as many times as needed until calm is restored 

I hope this is helpful as you learn to navigate your own well-being and self-care.

Be well,

Dr. G

*photo credit zen care

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