There are many holistic methods that can help to aid in drug and alcohol recovery. Breathing exercises are becoming more and more popular among those in recovery as an easy coping skill. Many are using these breathing techniques to help them get a handle on their anxiety or depression.
1. Abdominal Breathing
This exercise is most notably known for its effectiveness in controlling the nerves in your body to lower stress and panic levels. Make sure to practice at least once a day for 10 minutes.
- Sit on the floor straight and place your hand on your chest and abdomen one by one.
- Inhale through your nose and exhale out your mouth
- Breathe in as much air as possible so your body is provided with fresh oxygen.
- Also keep count slowly as you breathe out
2. 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise
This breathing technique gives you a vital energy boost. It also heightens awareness.
- Sit comfortably and begin breathing through your nose quickly (mouth must be closed)
- Complete a cycle of 3 breath-ins and outs every second.
- Resume normal breathing after each cycle
- Continue until you’ve hit 15 seconds then increase by 5 to 10 seconds
3. Stimulating Breath
The most simple breathing exercise that can be used anywhere and anytime. This technique also helps to control the nervous system decreasing stress and anxiety.
- Sit straight and plant the tip of your tongue on the upper right palate right behind your teeth.
- Purse lips together and breathe throughout your mouth
- Breathe in through your nose with mouth closed counting from 1 to 4
- Breathe out through your mouth making a “whoosh” sound counting from 1 to 8
- Repeat this cycle for time
Breathing techniques are a great coping skill for anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression along with substance abuse. Using these techniques can also help to develop mindfulness and control over your addiction triggers. Be sure to use these exercises when you feel overwhelmed.