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Anxiety? Depression? Take a deep breath!

There are some wonderful breathing techniques that can quickly help relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression.  If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you may be familiar with them.  If not, give this one a try and see if it helps.  It’s a great idea to practice this when you are not anxious, just to get used to it.  It’s are a very refreshing way to “blow off” some stress too.

Three-Part Breath. Put your right hand on your belly and breathe in through your nose.  Let yourself feel your breath lifting your hand via your abdomen.  Then, try placing your left hand on your chest.  Now notice your breath moving into your chest, expanding your rib cage, and then lifting your belly

Release the breath slowly, drawing your navel back into your spine.  Feel your breath leaving your belly, your lower lungs, your chest.  Breathing to a count of 4 in, 4 out is a nice rhythm .  Do this about 4 times to start, more when you feel comfortable.  Several times a day is a great idea.

Does this seem too complicated?  Then just practice singing the refrain from “Old McDonald Had a Farm” –” e-i-e-i-o” .  In doing so, you’ll be inhaling a deep breath, and then exhaling slowly.  Repeat several times — mission accomplished!

What this type of breathing does is literally change your chemistry.  It sends more oxygen to the brain, allowing it manufacture the neurotransmitters it needs to calm your system.  This type of breathing also calms your autonomic nervous system, which is too “revved up” when under stress.  It works the same way for depression.

If you are interested in learning more, here are a couple of links.  Happy breathing!

http://www.yogaeverywhere.com/breathing/index.html

http://helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm

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