Top Tips To Effective Breathing

Breathing is a very effective strategy. It improves mindfulness practice, helps relaxation, improves mood and is particularly helpful when feeling stressed, anxious, panicked and angry.
WHY? When we experience symptoms of stress, anxiety, or anger it is usually because our brain has interpreted something in the environment to be a threat and switched on the “flight or fight” defence mechanism. Breathing is a way to communicate to our brain that we are not in danger, it helps to reverse symptomology associated with stress, anxiety, panic and anger. For example, increased heart rate, rapid, shallow breathing, heightened senses and in turn switches off “fight or flight” mechanism.
When “Fight or Flight” is switched off we are more likely to engage our more rational part of the brain and engage in decision making and problem solving.

Breathing effectively can be accomplished in 3 steps:

  1. Belly Breathe – make sure you are directing the oxygen deep down into your diaphragm rather than just chest breathing
  2. Breathe in through your nose for 4-6 seconds
  3. Breathe out through your mouth for 4-6 seconds

Practice, Practice, Practice! It doesn’t have to be for big chunks of your day. Use other daily tasks as a trigger to remind you to touch base and practice your breathing. For example, every time you boil the kettle, while you wash up or when sitting at a red light. The more you practice the easier and more automatic it will become.
To learn more about effective breathing, take a look at the video entitled Three Tips To Effective Breathing. If you are having trouble with your mood and would like to learn strategies to reduce your symptoms and improve your mood Thriving Minds Psychology can help. You can call on P: 0428 088 671

Melissa Johnson

Psychologist/ Director
Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic