woman doing yoga inside a room
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DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES AGAINST ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Breathing deeply slows down the release of cortisol, a stress hormone, which is why there is a link between stress and breathing. Stress heightens the symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is why breathing is said to help with this. stress.org.uk

According to a new study report: “A breathing-based meditation practice known as Sudarshan Kriya yoga helped alleviate severe depression in people who did not fully respond to antidepressant treatments.”

“The meditation technique, which is practiced in both a group setting and at home, includes a series of sequential, rhythm-specific breathing exercises that bring people into a deep, restful, and meditative state: slow and calm breaths alternated with fast and stimulating breaths.”

Study experience

“In the study, researchers enrolled 25 patients suffering from MDD who were depressed, despite more than eight weeks of antidepressant medication treatment.”

“The medicated patients were randomized to either the breathing intervention group or the “waitlist” control group for eight weeks. (The waitlist group was offered the yoga intervention after the study).”

“During the first week, participants completed a six-session program, which featured Sudarshan Kriya yoga in addition to yoga postures, sitting meditation, and stress education.”

“For weeks two through eight, participants attended weekly Sudarshan Kriya yoga follow-up sessions and completed a home practice version of the technique.”

“Patients in the Sudarshan Kriya yoga group showed a significantly greater improvement in HDRS scores compared to patients in the waitlist group.”

“With a mean baseline HDRS score of 22.0 (indicating severe depression at the beginning of the study), the group that completed the breathing technique for the full two months improved scores by 10.27 points on average, compared to the waitlist group, which showed no improvements.”

“Patients in the yoga group also showed significant mean reductions in total scores of the self-reported Beck Depression (15.48 point improvement) and Beck Anxiety Inventories (5.19 point improvement), versus the waitlist control group.”

What is the best breathing exercise for anxiety?

Acording to the medicalnewstoday.com, “the 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as “relaxing breath,” involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This breathing pattern aims to reduce anxiety or help people get to sleep.”

How to do it?

“Adopt a comfortable sitting position and place the tip of the tongue on the tissue right behind the top front teeth.”

“To use the 4-7-8 technique, focus on the following breathing pattern:

  • empty the lungs of air
  • breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds
  • hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds
  • exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds
  • repeat the cycle up to 4 times.”

In the interest of your health and in order to achieve maximum result, please view the video tutorials and choose the breathing technique and exercise that suits you the best.

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Attention

Dr. Weil recommends using the technique at least twice a day to start seeing the benefits sooner. He also suggests that people avoid doing more than four breath cycles in a row until they have more practice with the technique.”

“A person may feel lightheaded after doing this for the first few times. Therefore, it is advisable to try this technique when sitting or lying down to prevent dizziness or falls.”

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