Anxiety is becoming more and more of a household word these days. That is largely because the condition is increasingly common for people from all walks of life and across all age groups. One of the most common things people will recommend for someone having anxiety, from family and friends to doctors, is to breathe slowly and deeply. What happens if the person experiencing anxiety isn’t able to do this? In fact that scenario is quite common.
When a person is experiencing anxiety they often don’t have much control over their breathing pattern. There is hope though, and we are here to help. In the meantime if you are experiencing anxiety here is a quick and easy trick. The yogic tradition calls it breath of fire or skull polishing breath. In this breathing exercise you focus only on the exhalation. It is particularly effective when someone is experiencing anxiety because it helps to release some of the pent-up anxious energy that one might be carrying with them.
To start you can either sit on your shins or stand. So, find a comfortable place to sit on your shins or stand. Open your mouth slightly and exhale quickly and powerfully while you pull your belly in. As if you were trying to blow out a particularly stubborn candle. Don’t think about the inhalation, that will happen naturally. Do this repeatedly for about 20 exhalations, stop and take a couple of slow normal breaths, then repeat. Once you have done a second set try to take a couple of slow deep breaths through the nose. You will likely find that you are able to do that now that you have release some of the anxiety.