It’s no secret that, globally, we are in the midst of a staggering mental health crisis. In fact, according to international nonprofit Project HOPE, 25% of the world’s population suffers from mental illness.
Unfortunately, two thirds of those with mental health conditions do not receive the help they need. This is due to a number of reasons including a lack of resources and trained healthcare workers.
Unfortunately, the gap in care is even wider for those living in low- and middle-income countries, where 76% to 85% of people suffering from mental disorders do not have access to care.
In addition, the greatest barrier to treatment is often the social stigma associated with mental illness. In the United States specifically, anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness, with roughly 40 million adults or 18% of the population affected each year.
Whether you’ve grown up with anxiety or are only just recently experiencing it, there is no one-size-fits-all cure to managing symptoms.
While speaking to a professional (either over the phone or in person) is certainly recommended for anyone who may be struggling, there are also a number of resources and helpful strategies one can access for free via social media.
Among Many Things, You Can Find Breathing Exercises for Anxiety on TikTok
As one of the most popular social media platforms to date, TikTok boasts over 1.5 billion downloads worldwide. Home to users from around the world, TikTok offers viewers everything from cooking tutorials to dance videos and Amazon hauls.
But that’s not all . . .
Thanks to the widespread reach of the TikTok app, meditation teachers, life coaches, researchers, and therapists from all over the globe are also able to provide helpful content to those who may be struggling.
And thankfully, TikTok offers countless breathing exercises for anxiety for users to take advantage of when in need of some calm.
Here Are 3 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety That You Can Find and Follow Along With on TikTok:
Below are three simple breathing exercises for anxiety that you can try at home.
1. 4-7-8 Breathing
The 4-7-8 breathing method is a stress reduction technique that helps to calm the nervous system, increase relaxation, reduce anxiety, and even help you fall asleep.
According to Medical News Today, while there is limited scientific research to support this method, there is significant anecdotal evidence to suggest that this type of deep, rhythmic breathing can be helpful.
4-7-8 breathing is a fairly popular breathing exercise for anxiety that has been demonstrated on TikTok by a number of users. One such example is Corey Muscara, an author, podcaster, and Positive Psych Instructor at UPenn.
In this quick tutorial, he illustrates just how easy this method can be.
To try it on your own, simply breathe in for four seconds, hold the inhale for seven seconds, then exhale for eight seconds. He recommends repeating this technique for a few rounds at a time and utilizing it as often as needed.
2. Color Visualization and Breathing
Amanda Huggins, a popular anxiety coach, offers free and easy-to-try anxiety management techniques and advice to nearly 340,000 followers on TikTok.
One of her methods includes utilizing both color visualization and breathing to clear the heart space and calm the central nervous system.
Amanda suggests starting this breathing exercise for anxiety by closing your eyes and inhaling a color of your choice. (In the video, she chooses pink.) Placing both hands on your heart, she then instructs viewers to imagine a bright light (in that color) coming down through the crown of the head, eventually hitting the heart space.
As you exhale, she challenges you to imagine that same bright light of color as a wave clearing and washing out any tension in your body.
Amanda recommends repeating this practice anywhere between three to five times, depending on how you’re feeling.
3. Double Inhale, Extended Exhale Technique
Aside from being a former professional athlete and New York Times best selling author, Lewis Howes is also the host of The School of Greatness Podcast.
With over 300 million downloads, his show features meaningful interviews with business leaders, health gurus, and powerful speakers – all geared toward helping listeners to dream bigger, live better, and make an impact.
His TikTok account (which boasts over 500,000 followers) often features informative moments from past podcast interviews. One such video includes a clip with neuroscientist Andrew Huberman.
In this TikTok, Huberman outlines a specific breathing exercise for anxiety. He discusses how this particular breathing technique can help to relax both the mind and body.
The method, which is both simple and effective, simply requires two quick inhales, followed by one long exhale. To learn more about the science behind this technique, you can listen to Howes’ podcast.
Need more? Practice this Guided Pranayama and Mindfulness Meditation for a Calm and Peaceful Mind (Video)
These Breathing Exercises for Anxiety Can Offer Support – But Are Not a Replacement for Help
If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, please remember you are never alone. While breathing exercises for anxiety can be extremely beneficial, they are not the only form of help – or even necessarily the most effective.
For those living in the United States, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers a range of community support and treatment resources.
Please remember that, while helpful, social media should not be used as a replacement for professional assistance.
Let us know in the comments if any of these techniques have worked for you, and feel free to send us more of your TikTok recommendations!
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.