Counseling Corner | Breathing Exercise To Combat Anxiety w/ Brendon Lengacher, LMHCA

This video segment is from Restoring Hope, a TV series hosted on WHMB40 and serving the Indianapolis area. Crosswinds Counseling offers counseling services throughout Indiana.

Brendon Lengacher, LMHCA

Hi, my name is Brendon Lengacher, LMHCA and I’m a therapist with Crosswinds Counseling. There are times in life when we can feel very anxious or overwhelmed and when we’re feeling that way it can be really difficult, or it can be very tough to know what to do. One of my favorite ways to deal with a situation like that is by breathing. So I’m going to demonstrate my favorite way to do that.

So you want to get comfortable in your seat. You can grab your hand right here (see video) and kind of massage that area. What this kind of looks like is that you will breathe in for 3 seconds, you will hold for 3 seconds, and you will breathe out for size. [Brendon demonstrates]

Now the cool thing about this is that breathing is connected to your heart rate and when we are feeling anxious or overwhelmed our heart rate often rises. One of the things we can do is help lower our heart rate and we can do that by breathing. 

A little bit more of the science behind that is when we are focusing on our breathing and we’re massaging our hands like this, what it does is it focuses both halves of your brain to connect, and that will force your body to release calming hormones. So as you do that breathing exercise, 3 or 4 times, you might notice that your shoulder starts to loosen up. Your chest starts to loosen up. You might start to feel a little tired and that tells you that it’s working. So in review, one of those things we can do when we are feeling anxious or overwhelmed is that we can really focus on our breathing.

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