Many of our patients struggle with traits like anxiety, and can often find themselves in a state of panic. For this reason, we find that an important life skill that not enough people learn is the ability to simply calm down in tense situations. To do this, we teach each of the girls about breathing exercises, and how they can use them to deescalate a feeling of panic to relax. Here are some key breathing exercises that help people calm down…

Abdominal breathing

To do the abdominal breathing exercise, put one hand on your chest and your other hand on your stomach, and then breath in through your nose. The key is that you want to feel your diaphragm fill with air, and not your chest. If you do this right, you should feel your lungs stretch as they fill with air. A full rotation of this breathing exercises should involve around 10 full breaths.

Equal breathing

Equal breathing is a very common and easy to learn breathing exercise that people can use in any environment. Essentially, to do an equal breathing exercise, just breathe in through your nose for four seconds, and then breath out through your nose for four seconds. You can increase the amount of time that your breaths take, but the key is to have equal time breathing in and out for the whole rotation.

Alternate nostril breathing

The alternate nostril breathing exercise is done by getting into a comfortable position that you find helps you calm your mind. After that, close one of your nostrils with your finger and breath in through the open nostril, but breathe out through the other nostril (while closing the one that you just breathed in through). Essentially, one nostril should be used for breathing in and the other for breathing out.

Visualization breathing

A visualization breathing exercise is very mental. It is done by closing your eyes and imagining your “happy place”. Sounds cliche, right? But it works. While you are thinking of that happy place, breathe in and out deeply while just focusing on that happy place. This helps keep the mind in a calm state and clear out stressful thoughts that are inhabiting your mind.