In this video, we dive into a discussion with Ryan Carroll about the relationship between anxiety and breathing patterns, alongside effective breathing techniques to manage anxiety.

Ryan, with a background as a certified breathwork instructor, nutrition coach, and personal trainer, has spent two decades assisting individuals in overcoming anxiety, regulating their nervous system, and improving their breathing efficiency through tailored programs.

Throughout our dialogue, Ryan emphasizes the critical first steps of evaluating and enhancing breathing mechanics and capacity to effectively use breathwork for anxiety relief. He addresses the common misconceptions surrounding intense breathwork practices and advocates for a comprehensive strategy that embraces mental and lifestyle adjustments for optimal outcomes.

The conversation also covers the significance of breath hold exercises, the combination of formal and informal breathwork practices, and strategies for combating negative self-talk with positive affirmations.

By the conclusion of this episode, listeners will gain insight into how breathwork can be incorporated into a comprehensive plan for managing anxiety and achieving tranquility.

Anxiety Management

  • Chronic anxiety is a result of the modern world's constant demands and lack of recovery time, not the anxiety itself.
  • Breathwork is a powerful tool for managing anxiety, but it should be part of a holistic approach that includes lifestyle changes such as getting enough sunlight, having a community, sleeping properly, and eating right.
  • Ancestral approaches, including movement, grounding, diet, community, and breath, are often used as a foundation for managing anxiety.
  • Breathwork should be introduced gradually after establishing a strong foundation and assessing individual breathing mechanics and tolerance.
  • Various assessments can be used to measure breathing capacity and control, including inhale retention, exhale max test, and active step tests.
  • Informal breathing practices should be cultivated through regular formal practice to improve overall breathing patterns.
  • Acute anxiety can be managed by becoming aware of the breath and redirecting it into a full breath.

Also know about: From Stress to Sleep: How Breathing Techniques Can Improve Sleep Quality

Breathwork Techniques

  • Breathhold techniques, such as CO2 tables, can be beneficial for stress regulation and understanding one's ability to control discomfort.
  • Ryan Carroll also discusses the unique power of freediving and its ability to induce a state of stillness and mindfulness.
  • Ryan explains how freediving helped him achieve a three-minute breath hold from an initial 30-second breath hold, demonstrating the potential of such practices for inner peace.

Get to know about: How to Help Someone Having a Panic Attack: Essential Tips


Today's episode is made possible by Oxa, the pioneering wearable device focused on breathing with instant biofeedback, designed to be your guide to improved sleep and stress reduction. Oxa actively monitors your vital signs, such as heart rate and breath rate, in real-time, crafting customized breathing routines aimed at helping you manage stress and enhance your sleep quality.

June 24, 2024

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Get the Oxa Sensor and your choice of garment - lounge-wear shirt, bra, or adjustable chest strap. Your purchase includes access to the Oxa app which gives personalized data summaries and insights, as well as access to breathing exercises to teach you how to harness the power of your own breath.