Breathing Exercises for Anxiety

Many anxiety sufferers breathe too fast and shallow. When confronted with a feared scenario they breathe rapidly which leads to increased shortness of breath and further hyperventilation.

The most common symptoms are:

• Dizziness
• Light headedness
• Lump in the throat
• Fatigue
• Poor concentration
• Choking sensation
• Difficulty swallowing

• Racing heart
• Shaking
• Blurred vision
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Disorientation
• Tingly sensations or numbness in the hands, feet and mouth
People who chronically breathe too fast tend to sigh often, take deep breaths and feel short of breath.

Slow breathing can relieve anxiety and prevent you from having a panic attack if you do it as soon as you notice yourself over breathing or becoming anxious. Socially phobic and panicky people are advised to slow their breathing before tackling a feared situation or at any time they feel anxious.

Simple Breathing Technique for Anxiety

When you are first learning this breathing relaxation exercise you may find it easiest to practice lying flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and eight inches apart. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen.

You will also need a clock with a second sweep or the stopwatch on your mobile phone.

1. It is quiet abdominal breathing as if you are about to fall asleep.
2. It is done with minimal movement of your chest and shoulders.
3. Focus on the cycle of breath in and out.
4. If any thought pop into your mind, acknowledge the thought and flick it away and concentrate only on the breath in and out.
5. Then inhale slowly through your nose for 3 seconds. The hand on your abdomen should rise whilst the hand on your chest should stay relatively still.
6. Then exhale through your mouth for three seconds, making a whooshing noise as you breathe out. Think “RELAX” as you exhale. The hand on your abdomen should fall as you exhale.
7. Keep repeating this process for 5 minutes.
8. If you feel breathless or choky increase the depth of your breathing.
9. If you feel dizzy or tingly, reduce the depth of your breathing.
10. The sweet spot is when you feel drowsy or sleepy.

Once you feel you have mastered the technique lying down, then start practicing slow breathing whilst sitting or standing. Then you will be able to do slow breathing to relax yourself wherever you are in public.

Do this deep breathing for 20 minutes a day and any time when you feel yourself becoming anxious. Depending upon your commitments you might need to break up your 20 minutes during the day into 4 x 5 minutes relaxation segments or 2 x 10-minute relaxation segments.

Breathing exercises can help with a variety of anxiety issues such as feeling panicky, anxious, however they are only part of the work needed to cure
your anxiety.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

One of the body’s reactions to fear and anxiety is muscle tension. This can result in feeling “tense”, or can lead to muscle aches and pains, as well as leaving some people feeling exhausted. Think about how you respond to anxiety. Do you “tense up” when you’re feeling anxious? Muscle relaxation can be particularly helpful in cases where anxiety is especially associated to muscle tension. This information sheet will guide you through a common form of relaxation designed to reduce muscle tension.

For more information click here:—Information-Sheets/Anxiety-Information-Sheet—09—Progressive-Muscle-Relaxation.pdf

Mantram Repetition Program (MRP)

The MRP consists of three skills that can be practiced daily:

  • (1) Mantram Repetition
  • (2) slowing down
  • (3) one-pointed attention

“Mantram repetition” is the practice of repeating a short, self-selected sacred word or phrase representing the highest power we can conceive, whether we call it God, the ultimate reality, or the Self within. The concept comes from the Sanskrit term “mantra” (which is commonly used mistakenly in the West to mean anything that’s repeated). Repeating words or prayers can be found in nearly every culture and tradition. As a mantram is repeated silently in the mind at any time or any place, over and over throughout the day or night, it serves to train attention for slowing down thoughts and improving concentration. Slowing down and one-pointed attention support the practice of mantram repetition and together, all three tools assist in raising one’s awareness of being in a hurry and multi-tasking. All three tools work together synergistically to bring us into the present moment.

For more information click here:


The Best 15 Minute Beginner Workout No Equipment Needed

For more information click here: For More click here:

Mercy Mental Health Triage 1300 657 259
If you are experiencing mental distress or you are seeking treatment for a mental health problem, please phone the triage line on 1300 657 259.
For emergencies requiring immediate assistance, call 000.
You may need to leave a message on an answering service and the triage worker will return your call as soon as possible.

For more information click here:

Beyondblue 1300 22 4636
Beyondblue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.

For more information click here:

Lifeline 13 11 14
Lifeline provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services. Find out how these services can help you, a friend or loved one.

For more information click here:

MensLine 1300 78 99 78
MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationship concerns. We’re here to help anywhere, anytime.

For more information click here:

Black Dog Institute
The Black Dog Institute is dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness.

For more information click here:

Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. We aim to support all people in Australia to achieve positive and respectful relationships.

For more information click here: