Slow Breathing Social Anxiety

Slow breathing can relieve anxiety and prevent you from having a panic attack, if you do it as soon as you notice yourself overbreathing or becoming anxious. Socially anxious people are advised to do slow breathing before tackling a feared social situation or at any time they feel anxious.

When you are first learning slow breathing you may find it easiest to practice this technique lying flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and eight inches apart. Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen.


Hold your breath and count to 10
Then breathe out and think’ relax’ to yourself

Then Inhale slowly through your nose for 3 seconds. The hand on your abdomen should rise whilst the hand on your chest should stay relatively still.

Then exhale through your mouth for three seconds, making a whooshing noise as you breathe out. Think “RELAX” as you exhale. The hand on your abdomen should fall as you exhale.


After a minute of breathing in and out in a six second cycle, hold your breath again for 10 seconds

Keep repeating this process for 5 minutes.

Once you feel you have mastered the technique lying down, then start practising slow breathing whilst sitting or standing. Then you will be able to do slow breathing to relax yourself wherever you are in public.

Do this deep breathing for 20 minutes a day and any time when you feel yourself becoming anxious. Depending upon your commitments you might need to break up your 20 minutes during the day into 4 x 5 minutes relaxation segments or 2 x 10-minute relaxation segments.

This is just one of many tips trained clinical psychologists can provide to help reduce anxiety. Ring now for an appointment with a trained clinical psychologist on (03) 9819 3671 or 0429 88 3671

This article published on Jul 23, 2012. View related Treatment Options

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