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Breathwork for Stress and Anxiety

Conditions
Last Updated Sep 10, 2020

What is Breathwork?

Breathwork is a breathing discipline with techniques that are designed to help our physical and psychological state - and can be helpful in reducing stress and other negative energy in the body. Other disciplines that utilise forms or aspects of breathwork include yoga and meditation.

Benefits of Breathwork

The benefits of breathwork for an individual are many and varied, and include:

  • Restoring natural breathing patterns
  • Reducing stress and anxiety; and
  • Improving all aspects of your life including health and personal relationships 

What is Stress and Anxiety?

Stress is part of the body's coping mechanism which enables us to deal with day to day situations, and involves physiological changes - specifically the secretion of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream.  This is activated by the body’s nervous system – specifically the endocrine system, and leads to higher heart rate, increased blood pressure and rapid breathing.  Anxiety is closely related to stress, and is often characterised by a feeling of dread at any new experience.  If we are continually feeling stressed or anxious, and our body reacts to these signals this can place undue stress on our health – and may even prove fatal. Causes of stress may include the death of a family member or friend, sickness, loss of employment, crime and an increase in responsibility.  Workplace stress is increasingly common as society becomes more competitive and longer work hours become the norm.

Breathwork Techniques

Follow this simple technique for more efficient breathing, and feel yourself transformed:    

  1. Find a comfortable position on the floor
  2. Sit upright with your spine straight, or lie down flat
  3. Breathe in your nose and exhale out your mouth
  4. Count slowly as you exhale
  5. Do not rush the process at all
  6. Concentrate on using your lower lungs to breathe with
  7. Your stomach should rise and fall if you are doing this properly 

How can Breathwork Help Stress and Anxiety?

A breathwork session is typically conducted by a trained practitioner, who will guide you through all the steps.  This is typically preceded by an evaluation of the participant. Breathwork can be conducted individually or in a group setting, with the practitioner providing guidance to the participant/s. The practitioner will often lead a guided relaxation to help participants slow down and prepare for the session.  Relaxation is one of the key elements of reducing stress and anxiety, and is therefore thought to be beneficial for sufferers.

Find out about other effective natural treatments for stress and anxiety.

Originally published on May 20, 2010

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Wellness inspiration of the week

People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills… There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind… So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself. — MARCUS AURELIUS