We all get overwhelmed sometimes. The holidays can be especially overwhelming, so here's a guide to some breathing techniques that you can do whenever things feel a little too much. Grounding yourself and taking a few moments to just breathe can do wonders for your mental and physical health.

Here's how you can start. 


5-4-3-2-1 Technique

Best for

Grounding you to reality when you’re overwhelmed by anxious thoughts

How it works

Start by taking long, deep breaths.

Acknowledge these things around you:

5 things you can see

4 things you can touch

3 things you can hear

2 things you can smell

1 thing you can taste


Box breathing

Best for

Slowing a racing heart, rapid breathing, and dizziness from anxiety or panic attacks

How it works

Controlled, slow breaths can support a regained sense of control. Hold your breath for a count of four. Hold again for a count of four, then inhale for another count of four. Repeat for 3-4 rounds.

Guided imagery

Best for

Relaxing tension in the body by having a safe space in your mind.

How it works

Think of a peaceful place or scenario that will promote a state of calmness to ease your mind and body. It can feel more effective when you choose imagery that you personally find soothing and significant. 

Focus shift

Best for

Managing anxiety from distressing interactions around you

How it works

Leave the situation, go outside, or take a walk. It may be difficult to respond or make decisions when you’re feeling anxious. By taking a step away, you can remove yourself from a stressful situation and come back when you’re ready.


Relaxing sounds

Best for

Calming down after a stressful situation has occurred. 

How it works

Studies show listening to music can help calm your nervous system and lower cortisol levels, both of which can help reduce stress. The genres most likely to support relaxation are classical and soft pop music.

If it all feels too much to bear on your own, talking to someone can help you process things you don't understand. Admitting that you need to talk to a professional is a sign of strength, not weakness. 

Let Kindred be your partner throughout your mental health journey. Book psychology and psychiatry consults as well as Mental Health Bundles on mykindred.co!