A Simple Breathing Exercise To Manage Stress and Sinus

Published: January 17, 2017 at 10:30 am

Last Updated on

If you click on “images” after searching for “medicine side effects”, you will notice a t-shirt with a message that goes, “I take medication for diabetes which is a side-effect from my high BP which I got from taking sleeping tablets due to insomnia caused by anxiety which I got from a tablet given for chronic fatigue ….”.

I am one of those guys. I was given steroids and azathioprine for Myasthenia Gravis (auto-immune deficiency). The steroids increased my HBA1C (a measure of average blood sugar) levels, increased my anxiety levels, among other things*. The azathioprine affected the shape of my RBCs, reducing my haemoglobin content. This has been my life since Sep. 2012 (freefincal was started four months before).

* My hair grew fast! So not all bad 🙂

Source: http://chirocentre.co.uk/chiropractic-t-shirt-medication-side-effect/

To get my life back in order,  I stopped all forms of sugar, reduced carbs and dropped my weight: How I lost weight, gained it all back and lost it again!.

Although my steroid intake is now comfortably low, anxiety issues were troubling. Anxiety is when stress dissipates slowly. If you worry that the stress is not going away, it will worsen the symptoms.

Before I realised that this was anxiety, I used to think I had breathing difficulties. If I saw someone breathing fast or diving underwater in a movie, it would make be anxious!

I used to take a drug for this, but when the doctor asked me to stop it, I would feel sleepy the entire day. So I wanted a way to reduce stress and anxiety quickly without drugs. Distraction, in particular, Robin Williams on Youtube made a huge difference, but often I was too stressed to remember to get distracted.

A couple of months ago, on the flight home after the Mumbai Investor meet, the in-flight Indigo magazine introduced me to a simple Yoga breathing exercise that has made a huge difference to my life.

I do not remember the name of exercise (Anshuman Chakrapani, some help please).

Update: Anshuman’s expert comments:

This is the preparatory stage of classical Nadi Shodhan Pranayama…

It is also called psychic network purification technique. There is altogether 5 technique or stages in Nadi Shodhan Pranayama. This is beginners stage.

Nadi Shodhana pranayama has countless benefits it’s ensures that the whole body is nourish-efficiently expelled and the blood is purified of toxins. The brain centres are stimulated to work nearer to their optimum capacity. It also induces tranquillity, clarity of thought and concentration, and is recommend for those engaged in mental work. It increases vitality and lowers levels of stress and anxiety.

Same Nostril Breathing

1: Close your left nostril with a finger (the magazine said ring finger, but I don’t think it makes a difference). Breath in with open (right) nostril, and breathe out normally with the same right nostril. Repeat 3-5 times. Do not breath through the mouth.

2: Repeat with other the nostril.

That is it! When I googled, I could find not the find the exact technique. There is a lot of material on alternative nostril breathing. This is same nostril breathing and is a lot easier.

Hate ads but would like to support the site? Subscribe to our ad-free newsletter and get beautifully formatted full articles delivered to your inbox!

It has had a huge impact in reducing my anxiety levels.  I can do this just about anywhere without attracting attention. After doing this, if I can distract myself with some pleasant activity, the anxiety comes down even faster.

Anxiety need not always result in a full blown panic attack. Sometimes as the body relaxes back, there can be some chest pain (scary!) and even hand tremors. This breathing exercise has helped me manage this well.

I also have a sinus issue and as I write have a severe nasal block due to cold. Sometimes both my nostrils get blocked and I get anxious because of this! Working a single nostril has helped me clear the block from it.

I was told to get a sinus surgery done. Thanks to this exercise, I have been able to manage without, so far.  I am also not under medication for anxiety now.

Although I share this in the hope that it may be useful, please keep in mind that not everyone can handle a breathing exercise. Those with high BP and/or heart or chest condition (among others) should avoid this. So please consult a doctor if you wish to practice this or any other breathing technique. 

Also remember that benefits will vary from person to person.

You Can Be Rich Too With Goal-Based Investing

Now 23% OFF Rs. 307 at Amazon

  • Ask the right questions about money
  • get simple solutions
  • Define your goals clearly with worksheets
  • Calculate the correct asset allocation for each goal.
  • Find out how much insurance cover you need, and how much you need to invest with nine online calculator modules
  • Learn to choose mutual funds qualitatively and quantitatively.

More information is available here: A Beginner’s Guide To Make Your Money Dreams Come True!

What Readers Say

Where to Buy

You can get it from:

Amazon.in  Rs. 307 or Bookadda for Rs. 371/-. Or via Infibeam for just Rs. 307.

The book is also available on Kindle at Amazon.in (Rs. 244.30) or at Amazon.com ($3.36 or Rs. 244.30).

Also at,  Google Play Store  (Rs. 244.30)

Do share if you found this useful
Hate ads but would like to support the site? Subscribe to our ad-free newsletter and get beautifully formatted full articles delivered to your inbox!

About the Author

Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations on the basis of money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association. For speaking engagements write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com

About freefincal & its content policy

Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on developments in mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. We operate in a non-profit manner. All revenue is used only for expenses and for the future growth of the site. Follow us on Google News
Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified from credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish any kind of paid articles, promotions or PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions presented will only be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)

Connect with us on social media

Our Publications


You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingThis book is meant to help you ask the right questions, seek the right answers and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now. It is also available in Kindle format.
   

Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You Want

Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantThis book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner

Your Ultimate Guide to Travel

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover-new

This is a deep dive analysis into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when traveling, how traveling slowly is better financially and psychologically with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step. Get the pdf for Rs 199 (instant download)  

Free Apps for your Android Phone

Comment Policy

Your thoughts are the driving force behind our work. We welcome criticism and differing opinions.Please do not include hyperlinks or email ids in the comment body. Such comments will be moderated and I reserve the right to delete the entire comment or remove the links before approving them.

7 Comments

  1. Thanks for bringing up this topic.

    I am practicing Common and 3/4 basic pranayam.

    Following are few and very very common techniques and those to be done under guidance otherwise there could be damging effect. Very important is that everyone need to do with his own capacity after learning it. Repeatation,time, cycle and speed etc is very important in real practice and are very depend upon the Individual health situation.

    Taking your attention to the breath can help free the mind of the unnecessary clutter of thoughts that breed anxiety. Try the following breathing practices:

    •Kapal Bhati Pranayama (Skull-Shining Breathing Technique)

    •Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellow breathing)

    •Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing) – effective in releasing stress from the system (where the exhalation is longer than the inhalation)

    •Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath)

    With Regards,

  2. there are many breathing exercises in Yoga, but majorly spoken, discussed and practiced are Anulom-Vilom (breathe in-breathe out) and Naadi-Shodhan (breathe in-hold-breathe out) pranaayams, and true, these definitely are helpful for the symptoms of stress, anxiety and sinus. (based on my experience with Yoga since last 20 yrs).

  3. Sir, amitabh also has myasthenia, so you can also lead the life as big as him, and I should say , I have heard you twice, you are on the path to emulate him
    Few medical matters sir,, myasthenia is a state of autoimmune excess, azathioprine affects the wbc, keep a tab on it.
    Sorry for the free advice, could not stop myself.

  4. I have been suffering from sinus like symptoms for as far as I can remember (may be 15 years now). There is nothing I have not tried. allopathic, Ayurveda, homeo. Have been treated in India and abroad. My mornings have been miserable beyond explanation. It was so embarrassing even to show up at work with sneezing, running nose every day.

    These breathing techniques are followed in Art of Living happiness course. It should be beneficial

    But for past 4-5 months something happened that life is so much better. I can’t pin point what has hit me. Following are my observation of change in life style

    1) Consume a spoon of Raw garlic soaked in Honey on empty stomach (In a glass jar chop garlic and pour good quality honey and leave aside for few days and start consuming)

    2) I started using castor oil in my regular hair oil and apply on head before bath.

    Again, can be sure which magic did the trick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *