How To Use Your Breathing To Reduce Anxiety

By Oliver M. James

April 5, 2020

Can anxiety go away? You can use this simple breathing technique to help begin to reduce stress and anxiety rapidly.  It can be used as your first line of defence. 

Just breathe, they say.  

Well, breathing does help, and fortunately it’s a natural talent which we all have. However, there is a particular technique you can practice which can help reduce anxiety right from its onset or before doing something which is slightly scary, like giving a speech, a job interview or giving a presentation. 

I am sharing one of of the useful anxiety management techniques that I use with my clients in my 1-1 live hypnosis sessions.  Other tools are available in this downloadable free guide: 5 Effective Tools to Reduce Anxiety in Minutes.  

Why it works?

When we change our breathing, we change our physiology which in turn changes our state. There’s no faster way to feel stressed by starting to breathe quickly and rapidly (don’t do this). 

The technique below works by activating the parasympathetic nervous system in the brain, which is associated with relaxation, yoga, meditation and hypnosis. It automatically forces you to feel calm. 

The Basic Technique

The technique is named 7/11 breathing, nothing to do with a chain of convenience stores. This features in my downloadable guide: 5 Effective Tools to Reduce Anxiety in Minutes

Essentially it involves breathing in for a count of 7 and then breathing out for a count of 11. That might sound like a lot, but the key is to make the out breath shorter than the breath in. 


Ask yourself, how do I feel right now? Rate it on a scale of 0-10, 10 being the worst. This is an important step, it’s your way to know how well it's working, because you’ll also check in and rate it again afterwards. 


Breathe in through your mouth for a count of 7, then exhale through your mouth for a count of 11. It can help to purse your lips together as you do this. Do not hold your breath.  Repeat this for about two to three minutes.


Evaluate & Repeat!

Where that feeling has gone now? Rate it again on a scale of 0-10. Continue to repeat the exercise until you get it to 0. 

Remember: If you find that you cannot breathe in for 7 seconds and out for 11, no problem. You can do it for less, but the important thing is to make the exhale slower than the inhale. You might choose to do 4 in and 7 out for example.

Practice the technique daily, and it'll become even easier.  

Power Tools for Your Brain

5 Effective Tools to Reduce Anxiety in Minutes

I have compiled some of the easiest and simplest to use in this handy FREE guide: 5 Effective Tools to Reduce Anxiety in Minutes.

It's quick, easy and to the point. Allowing you to start using them straight away, 

It's your own set of power tools for your brain which will help you get freedom from unwanted anxiety providing that you practice them.