It’s our most basic function and we have to do it to live. But according to Health.com you can use the way you breathe to fight anxiety, sleep better, and focus your attention. For instance, you may not notice, but in a stressful situation, the natural reaction is to take quick and shallow breaths, which actually increases your body’s stress response.
Experts say the fastest way to relieve anxiety is to slow your breathing down to about five breaths per minute and breathe gently and naturally without overfilling your lungs and without forcing the air out. For those times that you need to concentrate, they recommend taking a few short, forceful breaths. Breathe in sharply and breathe out forcefully while shouting ‘ha’. They advise about 20 breaths per minute, for no more than 3 to 5 minutes.
There is a big caveat here. If you have high blood pressure, avoid this type of breathing. Finally if you have trouble drifting off,sleep specialists recommend deep breathing before falling asleep. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breathe through your nose for about 2 seconds, with your belly moving outward more than your chest. As you breathe out, gently press your belly. That will slow your heart rate and help you get to sleep.