Meenal Patel, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

I have been feeling very heightened lately with all the COVID-19 stuff happening and I think mainly the fact that people keep talking about it. We are all in the know of what is happening, but it is getting to a point where I do not need to constantly know what is happening or what your thoughts are about it. I have found myself getting slightly more agitated when we all are talking about COVID-19. So how do we get ourselves to relax and breath and move forward from all that is happening? Here are some tips and tricks to help you breathe and relax when feeling heightened.

Lengthen your exhale

Take a long, slow breath through your nose and hold it as long as you can. Then release back out of your mouth. While doing this make sure you fill up your lower lungs and then to your upper lungs.
Hold your breath for 3 seconds. As you inhale through your nose, count “1…2…3” and then release for 3 seconds through your mouth.

Try to lengthen your exhale for two to five minutes depending on how you are feeling.

Breathing through your abdomen

Lie down and get comfortable in a position that feels good for you. Put a hand on your rib cage and the other hand on your heart. Inhale through your nose and out through your mouth and being aware of how your stomach and chest is inflating and deflating.

Practice Belly Breathing

It might feel weird and look weird, but try to breath in your nose and out through our mouth and feeling how your stomach feels. Allow your stomach to go in and out and inflate and deflate.

Phone Applications

Calm. The phone app is a wonderful app that can help you with your breathing. Per the Calm app, they state that they provide support in “meditation, sleep, music, body, masterclass, and scenes”. “It produces meditation products, including guided meditations and Sleep Stories.” ”They have various things to help you through your breathing journey.

Headspace. This is a wonderful app that I use daily to help me calm down and get grounded. Per the Headspace app, it states “Headspace is a global leader in mindfulness and meditation through its app and online content offerings. We believe that mindfulness should encompass every aspect of life, not just when you’re sitting to meditate. We provide unique tools and resources to mindfulness rooted in authentic expertise dating back 2,000 years and backed by proven scientific research. We offer inspiration, guidance, and support to living a mindful life in the pursuit of improving the health and happiness of the world.” There are tons of different options that can fit each one of your needs.

Being aware of how we are breathing and allowing ourselves to calm ourselves is important. Being mindful of how we are feeling throughout the few minutes or seconds that we are taking time to breathe can be beneficial for ourselves.

If you feel like you are struggling with breathing and releasing some of your own anxiety. Reach out to any of our therapists at Symmetry Counseling and we can help support you through breathing exercises. We are here to help you through everything that you are going through in your life.