A Two Minute Tool to Calm Anxiety and Panic

Heart Focused Breathing

I am often asked, “What can I do to calm down when I am anxious or having a panic attack?”

While there are many different tools that work to ease anxiety, breath work is one you will definitely want to try.  By working with your breath, you are able to calm your body, clear your mind and exit the anxiety loop rapidly.

Heart focused breathing is a quick and easy tool that calms anxiety and panic.  Developed by HeartMath®, heart focused breathing is a technique that targets anxiety in multiple ways. 

 Heart focused breathing:

  • allows you to refocus your attention away from anxiety and shift to a more positive emotional state allowing the anxiety to dissolve

  • calms the central nervous system, reducing the uncomfortable effects of fight or flight activated in your body

  • deactivates the threat system in the brain and activates the soothe system

  • releases positive hormones and neurotransmitters creating an uplift in your mood

  • connects your heart and mind, increasing heart rate variability coherence, which creates well being in your emotions and your body

 How to Practice Heart Focused Breathing

  1. Begin by slowing your breath down.  Breathe into and out from your nose for a slow, steady count of five in and out.

  2. Next, begin following the pattern of your breath.  A simple way to do this is to continue to count, or when breathing in, say to yourself “inhale” and while breathing out say to yourself “exhale.”  You can also listen to the sounds of your breath as you inhale and exhale, or you can notice the rise and fall of your belly and chest.  Stay with this step for 2-3 breath cycles.

  3. As you continue to breathe, bring your awareness to the area of your heart.  Continue to breathe, only imagine that you are breathing into and out from your heart, as if your heart was the one breathing for your body.  Stay with this for 5-6 breath cycles or longer.

Heart focused breathing is a quick, portable, and effective way to create calm. 

Be sure to watch the video below that demonstrates and brings this practice to life.  If you have any questions or comments, leave me a message below.

Happy Breathing!