Feeling stressed or anxious? Mind racing? Your most accessible and fastest tool to reduce anxiety and bring you back to centre is the always ever-present breath.
When we are anxious, our body tenses and we tend to breathe a little faster and shallower. This shortness of breath sends a warning message to the brain that there is not enough oxygen, which can lead to further anxiety and even panic. So we create a vicious cycle of shallow breathing causing stress and stress causing shallow breathing. 🙁
When you shift attention from your mind to breathing deeply (ensuring your breathe in and out through your nose), the parasympathetic nervous system will kick in. It is responsible for rest, relaxation and digestive responses. Your heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism lowers leaving you feeling good and relaxed. You come into presence and leave stress behind.
Breathe in deeply and slowly through the nose and hold for 1-3 seconds before slowly exhaling through the nose. Take longer to exhale. 4-6 seconds. This will help ensure a full exhalation that will allow you to optimise your next in breath. Repeat several times.
It is obvious the more you do this the better you will feel and it will have a cumulative effect over your week. Link it to things you do regularly in your day. Every time you have a drink of something Each time you put down the phone When you walk through a door You can even set your phone to send you frequent reminders.
You will feel better, your body will thank you, and your coping skills will rise. Good chance those around you will also appreciate your increased calmness. 🙂