Breath is the single most powerful tool for anxiety reduction. Proper focused breathing techniques will allow you to feel better and reduce the stress that leads to anxiety before it grabs a hold of you. Good breathing should be practiced throughout the day if you want to feel your best and manage your stress levels.

When breathing is at an optimum level you will achieve a state of relaxed vitality and your cardio-pulmonary system will be conditioned and strengthened. Your mental and physical state is also affected by how you breathe. For example, the emotional state of depression is often seen in our breathing by frequent sighing or shallow breathing.

As you know, when you are tense, frightened, or angry you hold your breath. Similarly, when you experience physical pain you will tend to grasp for air.

In my work over the past 28 years, with individuals who struggle with anxiety, stress and fear, I have discovered that deliberate, focused breathing is incredibly effective in inducing a relaxed state in your mind and body.

Research has proven that your heart rate, blood pressure, and even body temperature can be affected by how you breathe. By supplying your body with a constant and plentiful source of oxygen and exhaling more completely, your body is able to expel dangerous toxins, which benefit your entire body.

6 Rules for Practicing Focused Breathing

1) Prior to practicing, make sure your spine is straight.
2) Inhale through your nose with a long, sustained breath
(not fast, shallow breathing)
3) As you inhale, imagine your lower stomach is filing with air (you are actually filling up your lower lungs)
4) Hold your breath for a count of 3
5) As you exhale slowly through your mouth, for a count of 6, picture tension and anxiety leaving your body.
6) Associate your focused breathing with words such as “Calm”....”Relax”

The more you practice focused breathing, the more you will discover its benefits and become more aware of your negative breathing patterns. Commit to making the focused relaxation breath a complete replacement for the short and shallow breathing that has kept you from experiencing relaxation and an anxiety-free life.

Author's Bio: 

Performance Psychologist Dr. Nick Lazaris, a specialist for 28 years in helping you overcome the anxiety that can sabotage your personal and business life, publishes the monthly ezine The Fearless Achiever. If you're ready to take your life and career to a new level, get your FREE Audio Programs and Special Reports now at