You may be experiencing anxiety during the pandemic. Under quarantine, you may feel cut off from the people in your life who matter the most. You might feel unmotivated and anxious, lost amid the turbulent landscape of COVID-19. All of these overwhelming feelings may make you want to look for healthy options to deal with these feelings. Practicing mindfulness while you are in lockdown can help calm down your body and help you focus on right now instead of the impending future.
How Can Breathing Techniques Calm the Body?
Your breath is linked with your autonomic nervous system. This system has two responsive states: your flight-or-fight response and your rest response. During your flight-or-fight response, your brain increases muscle flow and tension, which increases your heart rate, breathing, perspiration, and blood pressure.
In stressful times, try to focus on deep breathing, using your diaphragm, and consciously controlling your breath. This practice can help you de-stress and calm your body. Deep breathing can help slow down your heart rate, relax your muscles, and quiet the part of the brain responsible for anxiety responses.
What is the Double Calm Breath Technique?
The Double Calm Breath technique is when you exhale for twice as long as you inhale. First, count to four while inhaling through your nose. Then, exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. Your next inhalation should be five seconds before you exhale for ten. Each time you increase the length of your breath by a second and then exhale for double the inhale’s amount of time. After getting to the longest possible duration, start over at four seconds and eight.
What is the Box Breathing Technique?
The Box Breathing technique can help lower your blood pressure and provide a sense of calmness, improve your mood, and keep you energized. First, inhale through your nose into the belly for four seconds. Second, you hold your breath for four seconds. Third, you exhale through your nose for four seconds. You then hold your breath again for four seconds and repeat the process.
Over time, you can push the number of seconds you inhale and exhale. All of these deep breathing exercises can help calm your anxious thoughts and prevent you from worrying about things that have not happened yet. By controlling your breathing, you are managing your anxiety and mental health.
Deep breathing is an essential tool for controlling your anxiety. Alta Loma’s treatment facility offers mindfulness as one of many activities, along with individualized group therapy, medication management, the 12 steps, life skills, and more to be able to live with your mental illness. For more information, please call us at (866) 457-3843.