When anxiety hits or something bad happens, you’ve all been told to “take a deep breathe”, or “just breathe”. Purposeful breathing seems to have wide reaching benefits for mental and physical well being.
When my anxiety was at its worst and I was having panic attacks almost daily, my therapist explained the benefits of deep breathing. I was skeptical at best. How was something as simple as breathing going to make any difference, after all I breathed all day long.
I agreed to try the deep breathing because it wouldn’t hurt. I was shocked to find it actually helped.The more I did it, the more I grew to view it as a coping skill.
The most profound difference in my anxiety and panic attacks came from ‘simple’ strategies: walk away, count to 10, and deep breathing. I continue incorporating these strategies into my life even now that my anxiety is much milder and my panic attacks are for the most part gone.
Being a research junky, I wanted to know why something as simple as breathing was so helpful. I also looked into different breathing exercises.
Here are a few articles I found most informative and helpful: