"Breathing exercises? Is that it? How is that going to help with my anxiety?"
I often hear this, and I can understand the skepticism. After all, we were born breathing, so why do we need to set aside time to do something we do all the time?
Stanford Neuroscientist Dr Andrew Huberman offers a really great explanation about different types of breathing exercises, and how these can help people to teach their nervous systems "to be comfortable in uncomfortable states" (Dr Andrew Huberman), and this puts their brain in an optimal state to function.
The trouble is, no matter the neuroscience, we sometimes believe that we don't have time to do things like breathing exercises. We look upon it as a trip to the gym, an hour at least, and then with the travel to and from, it can seem impossible.
But research shows that the recommended 'dose' for meditation/breathing exercises is just 13 minutes a day. We probably spend longer than that waiting for a coffee to brew, or ordering stuff online!
Check out Dr Huberman's fascinating video here.
If you need some breathing exercises, I have plenty here.
I hope you find this useful, and I hope you manage to carve out that all-important 5 minutes each day. But if you sometimes don't manage to, be kind to yourself and try to understand rather than judge.
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist & Author of Beyond the Blue
Ridgewood, New Jersey