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Use Your Breath To Beat Anxiety

Breathing instantly changes how we’re feeling emotionally.  

We also know that in reverse, our emotions affect our breathing. We only have to think about when we feel fear (we have a near miss in the car) and we gasp for breath, or when we’re anxious, we shallow breathe making ourselves feel even more anxious.

So how we breathe, can turn on and off our emotional states.  This is a good thing to remember, considering how much anxiety is flowing through us these days.  The busier we are, the more demand from social media and constantly having a ‘switched on’ life, these are the modern day anxiety causes.

To have a breath technique which we can call upon whenever and where ever we are is so comforting don’t you think?


Take 3 or 4 long deep breaths from your tummy and let them out slowly when you’re next feeling stressed.

You could be in front of the computer and doing a job you don’t enjoy (so before you know it your shallow breathing.) Once you start this breath work  you’ll find your mind and feelings become a lot calmer.

Learning (or relearning) how to breathe (well) is such a protective tool and will even make our eyes brighter!  When we develop our lung capacity, we have more energy, less tiredness and we think more clearer.  It’s also good for our skin.  Our blood becomes more oxygenated and this is a good thing.  Otherwise we are sluggish in both how we feel and physically.

The art of effective breathing isn’t difficult, it’s just about learning a couple of new habits and being aware of old habits.


We must breathe through our tummy and chest.  Most of us breathe just into our chest or the top part of our body and this doesn’t fully expand our lungs. When you say to someone take a deep breath, they’ll most likely raise there shoulders and pull their stomach in. This is a very restrictive way to breathe, and it actually increases our stress hormone (Cortisol) which is the last thing we need!

We did know how to breathe well when we were a baby… we’ve all seen a baby breathe, their little belly rising while they are sleeping peacefully without a worry in the world.  But once we become adults, stress takes over our functioning and our awareness.


~ Put your hands on your tummy and breathe.  Does your tummy swell then sink when you breathe out? It should.  You will see your hands move if this happens.  Try lying on the floor or flat surface and you can practice breathing through your tummy so that you get a feel for it.

~ Breathing is very detoxifying if done the right way.  Make sure you breathe out ALL of the air in your lungs. Then you’ll be exhaling more carbon dioxide and this allows us to get rid of cellular waste.  It’s common that we leave 1/3 of our breathe in our lungs which become stale.

~ This is where exercise is so important as we really empty out our lungs by walking up hills, cycling, dancing and jogging.  Rebounding on mini-trampolines are a great exercise to do at home, plus this re-bounding affect really stimulates our lymph system (which is another great detoxify-er.)


Do this 5 minutes twice/day to train your lungs and increase their capacity.  This will also purify your blood, push oxygen out to all areas in your body that you need it and clear your head.  The health benefits are endless!


  1. Put your hands on your ribs at the sides, above your waist and exhale completely

  2. Now breathe in gently through your nose, allowing your tummy to swell as much as possible (do this for a slow count of 5.) Then exhale.

  3. Keep breathing in through your nose for another count of 5, and this time allow your ribs to expand under your hands and then up through your chest (make sure you don’t lift your shoulders.)

  4. Hold this breathe for 5 counts and slowly let it out through your mouth as you count slowly to 10 (noticing your ribs shrinking back under your hands and pulling in your tummy until all the air is expelled. Do this 4 times.

Most of us have forgotten how to breathe fully. Isn’t it amazing, something as simple as breathing. Time taken to relearn proper breath is time well spent for your overall health and well being and it really does banish anxiety.

Give it a go now.  I will be showing more breath work (including meditations) inside Empowered Women’s Health (EWH) opening at the end of the this year.  Holistic health is about re-focusing on every element of our physical and mental health as this is the only way we can have true health.

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