7/11 or Belly Breathing for calm
We can change anxious states by simply controlling our breathing. When we feel stressed or anxious adrenaline is released into our system increasing our heart rate and quickening our breathing. Anxious people tend to hold their breath in anticipation or breathe fast, shallow breaths that only utilize the top part of their lungs. This is a very inefficient way to breath and only causes them more distress as their oxygen levels become depleted. When we relax our breathing it deepens and slows, increasing our oxygen levels, automatically reducing stress and anxiety.
There is a technique that controls this fast paced breathing that can lead to hyperventilation, called Belly breathing or seven/eleven breathing. Once mastered the Belly Breathing technique will control anxiety and reduce stress, sometimes in as little as a minute.
First you need to focus on breathing properly so place your hand on your abdomen and breathe in. Your hand should be pushed out as your lungs expand. Notice your hand retreating as you exhale. When you do this correctly you will be filling your lungs and increasing the oxygen supply to your brain, enabling you to think clearly and naturally calming you down. Repeat this until you are happy that your lungs are being filled fully every time you breathe in.
The ratio of breathing is roughly 7 to 11 which is why this technique is often referred to as 7/11 Breathing. As you breathe in count to seven, hold for two and exhale for a count of eleven. The speed of the count is not in seconds, just count as fast or as slow as is comfortable for you.
This technique is good for general relaxation so practicing the belly Breathing technique so that it is automatic and enjoy the relaxing feeling at the same time.
Tip: This is one of the best techniques to control anxiety but you must practice it so that it can be done automatically.
Another good thing about the Belly Breathing technique is that it can be done discretely if you get anxious while you are out in public.