Wim Hof Method
breathing exercises for anxiety
Breathing Exercises For Anxiety Icon

Breathing exercises for anxiety

If you are suffering from anxiety, chances are that you are taking short and shallow breaths whenever you feel anxious. When you breathe this way you get that typical out of breath feeling, which in turn makes you even more anxious. Breathing exercises help you take deep, proper breaths, and can help break that vicious cycle.

The way that you breathe has very powerful effects on your body. For that reason, relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga put emphasis on breathing. The Wim Hof Method is a powerful method that can help you control your breath, and ultimately your body. You can learn everything about the related breathing exercises by signing up for our Fundamentals video course.

How to relieve anxiety by breathing properly

Your body automatically goes into a state of emergency the moment you are feeling anxious. Your heart rate and blood pressure rise. This is your body’s way of putting you in the physical state required to literally escape a perceived threat.

Subconsciously, you begin to breathe from your chest. This phenomenon is the cause of many panic-related symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

Taking deep deliberate breaths starting from your abdomen, signals to the rest of your body that everything is fine. The key to this relaxation technique is that you fill your entire lungs with air, rather than just the upper part. These deep breaths evoke a calming response within your body, reversing many of the anxiety-related symptoms.

You can monitor how you are breathing by placing one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Whenever you take a deep breath, the hand on you belly should move, while the hand on your chest should barely move at all. Breathing this way requires the use of a muscle called the diaphragm. Most people are used to using the muscles in their upper chest, neck, back, and shoulders instead of their diaphragm, which results in shallow breathing.

Start practicing breathing from your belly by sighing and just letting the air out of your lungs. This helps relax the tensed-up muscles in the upper part of your body. Next, inhale through your nose, while pushing out your abdomen. After inhaling, pause for a moment and subsequently exhale while pulling your abdomen in. You will notice that you take bigger breaths this way, and that you breathe slower. Keep breathing like this for a couple of minutes and your body will already begin to feel more relaxed.

Relieve Anxiety By Breathing Properly

Wim Hof Method breathing exercises

The Wim Hof Method is developed by ‘Iceman’ Wim Hof during his quest to find a natural way to optimize his body and mind. Along the way, Wim has used the power that nature provided to break more than twenty Guinness World Records related to cold and extreme sports. Controlling your breath is one of the fundamentals of the Wim Hof Method. To this end, Wim has developed specific breathing exercises that help you release energy within your body, changing various physiological responses and ultimately influencing your nervous system and immune response. You can learn more about the specifics of the breathing exercises here.

Practice the Wim Hof Method

Wim’s mission is to let as many people as possible benefit from his method. That is why he and his team have developed an interactive online video course that will teach you all the fundamentals of the Wim Hof Method. The Wim Hof Fundamentals video course is subtitled in many languages, and you can watch the videos wherever you want and at your own pace. Thousands of people have already reaped the benefits of the method through the Fundamentals course. With this video course, even people with very demanding lives and little free time are able to practice the Wim Hof Method.

The three pillars

The Wim Hof Method rests on three pillars. These pillars are the aforementioned breathing exercises, controlled exposure to cold conditions, and focus. The method teaches you how to combine them in the right way, giving you control over your mind and your body to an extent that was previously thought to be impossible. Benefits of the Wim Hof Method include but are not limited to better sleep, faster recovery from physical exercise, better concentration, more creativity, and relief from diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and COPD.

three pillars

Wim Hof Method References

Wim Hof Method is assesed on average with an 9.5 out of 10 based on 2147 experiences written by participants

Tineke, Testimonial Wim Hof
Tineke, The Netherlands
I have severe arthritis in my left hip. By implementing the Wim Hof Method in my daily life, I can deal with this without getting surgery. I love Wim’s purity. His coaching inspires me and gives me energy. I’m almost 66 years old and by practicing the Wim Hof Method I feel much more...
Albert, Testimonial Wim Hof
Albert, The Netherlands
For 12 years now I have had rheumatism. Thanks to the Wim Hof Method I have been able to halve the amount of anti-inflammatory drugs. My goal is to completely stop the use of anti-inflammatory drugs after finishing the video course.
Aivar, Testimonial Wim Hof
Aivar, Estonia
I am 52 years old, and after 10 weeks of the Wim Hof Method I am in the best shape I have ever been. I did 30 push-ups as a test before I started the course, and when I finished I did 100 push-ups for the first time in my life. The Wim Hof Method gives you a good mood, it’s addictive!
Monic, Testimonial Wim Hof
Monic, The Netherlands
It’s only been 4 weeks since I started, but the results are remarkable! Thank you from the heart for changing my life, my health, and my understanding about my own power and the influence I have on this. I’m looking forward to a nice cold winter in the Netherlands.
Mino, Testimonial Wim Hof
Mino, Germany
Learning Wim’s method is like studying from one of nature’s best students. My life long fear of cold is history. I now fully enjoy cold immersions, but the benefits are not limited to cold. I am now a better person and a happier being. I smile when facing life challenges.
Gregor Testimonial Wim Hof
After 8 months of daily Hoffing, puffing and cold showers I can claim to be cured of my 5 year burnout. Not having had a single cold or flu, my sore knee is working perfectly again, which was very painful the last 2 years. It is like a miracle, and I’m really grateful that our paths crossed.
Franco, Testimonial Wim Hof
Franco, USA
Wim I hope to train with you someday. I love to jump into that cold water and climb that mountain with you. Your method has truly helped me with psoriatic arthritis. I am no longer taking Humira injections for my symptoms. I am controlling it with breathing, cold showers and ice baths.
Matthew, Testimonial Wim Hof
Matthew, Australia
I would have paid $10,000 for this, but that would not be enough because this has changed my life. I feel like I have taken Valium yet am supercharged. As a clinical psychologist my days can be very stressful. There is a stillness inside me now, and what I am really amazed by is the peace lasts.
Per Kristian, Testimonial Wim Hof
Per Kristian, United Kingdom
After 3 weeks of daily practicing my medication (Naproxen) for long-standing sciatica has been cut by 80%, and my arm pain and 'pins and needles' following a neck injury 50 years ago has been halved!
Arthur, Testimonial Wim Hof
Arthur, USA
I got anxiety 2+ years ago, and have had panic attacks every day since. Medicine helped a little. I came across your videos and started to walk my 2 miles a day in only a t-shirt at 20F degrees. Within 2 weeks my anxiety went away! I found it to be a miracle.
James, Testimonial Wim Hof
James, USA
I’ve had astonishing results battling addiction with the Wim Hof Method. It has saved my life and is the only thing that worked on getting clean and healthy. I go ahead and get my suffering over with in the cold showers, so I don't have to suffer throughout the day. Pretty good trade to...
Georg, Testimonial Wim Hof
Georg, Germany
Cardiac and respiratory arrest began my life. Heart defect and cleft palate pushed diseases. Depression, lack of self-efficacy, and post traumatic stress disorder followed. The Wim Hof Method frees me: I am twenty-nine years old, and I love to live. Thank you!
Grant, Testimonial Wim Hof
Grant, Australia
I was born with Spina Bifida, and was told I would end up in a wheelchair. After incorporating the Wim Hof Method into my daily life I have begun to see results in my pain levels and athleticism. I am no longer looking down the barrel of becoming a paraplegic, and I attribute that in part to the...
Raúl, Testimonial Wim Hof
Raúl, The Netherlands
From the 90s to 2012 I developed hayfever symptoms and had to take daily medications in order to cope. The effect of these medications only lasted for several hours. By using the Wim Hof Method training daily, my body has conquered hayfever symptoms since 2013.
Benjamin Testimonial Wim Hof
I started the Wim Hof method in October of 2018, and now the holes I had in my brain are gone. My neurosurgeon was so impressed by the scans that he told me I don't have to come back anymore. I take this as proof that this method works to regenerate brain tissue.