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  • Calm breathing (or diaphragmatic breathing) involves taking smooth, slow, and regular breaths. Sit upright and comfortable at your chair to practice.
  • Repeat for about 6-8 breathing cycles per minute for 2 to 5 minutes to help to decrease anxiety.
  • Our breathing changes when we are feeling anxious. We tend to take short, quick, shallow breaths, or even hyperventilate; this is called “over-breathing”.
  • Often at work we tend to hold our breath when reading streams of stressful emails resulting in paused and shallow breathing which leads to increase in anxiety levels (sometimes referred to as email apnea).
  • The calm breathing cycles regulate the amount of oxygen you take in so that you do not experience the fainting, tingling, and giddy sensations that are sometimes associated with over-breathing or under-breathing.

[toggle title=”” open=”no”] References:

  • P. S. Lee, “Theoretical Bases and Technical Application of Breathing Therapy in Stress Management,” Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 1304-1313, 1999.
  • Gina Paul, Barb Elam & Steven J. Verhulst (2007) A Longitudinal Study of Students’ Perceptions of Using Deep Breathing Meditation to Reduce Testing Stresses, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 19:3, 287-292
  • Volker Busch, Walter Magerl, Uwe Kern, Joachim Haas, Göran Hajak, Peter Eichhammer, The Effect of Deep and Slow Breathing on Pain Perception, Autonomic Activity, and Mood Processing—An Experimental Study, Pain Medicine, Volume 13, Issue 2, February 2012, Pages 215–228
  • Effects of controlled breathing, mental activity and mental stress with or without verbalization on heart rate variability,