Most of us experience stress or anxiety in our daily lives. As a matter of fact, a whopping 72 percent of folks admit that their everyday stress and anxiety interferes with their lives at least moderately. Many people have resorted to taking a prescription medication to manage their stress, nervousness or lack of sleep that can occur as the result of a hectic day.

According to researchers, women typically turn to food and tend to discuss what’s bothering them with friends or family. Men, on the other hand, use sex or illicit drugs to manage what is stressing them out. For older adults, stress can be too much to bear in many cases. Many seniors have to deal with the loss of spouses, friends, and family. Many are living alone, and the feeling of isolation can create stress, anxiety, and panic. Not being able to do simple tasks can be stressful for someone who is older, as well as dealing with medical conditions that are disabling.

Stress, anxiety, and panic can be crippling for many. There is, however, a calming breathing exercise that can help you feel centered again, and doing it regularly as part of your daily routine, will give you the most benefit.

You can do it standing up, sitting in a chair that supports your back, or lying on a bed or yoga mat on the floor. Make yourself as comfortable as you can. If you can, loosen any clothes that restrict your breathing. If you’re lying down, place your arms a little bit away from your sides, with the palms up. Let your legs be straight, or bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. If you’re sitting, place your arms on the chair arms. If you’re sitting or standing, place both feet flat on the ground. Whatever position you’re in, place your feet roughly hip-width apart.

  • Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
  • Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5. You may not be able to reach 5 at first.
  • Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again, if you find this helpful.
  • Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.