For someone who has had lived with anxiety for most of their adult life, making sure you “just breathe” is not as easy as you might think. Have you ever caught yourself holding your breath doing the day?
You may not notice it at first, I know I didn’t. But once I started to pay attention I noticed as my day would become more stressful, I would hold my breath more often.
Breath holding is exhausting as you aren’t getting the oxygen your body needs. I also notice when I’m holding my breath I tend to sigh a lot or take larger breaths as a way to compensate. Pay attention to your breathing habits and see if you are taking nice, full, deep breaths.
The best resource I have found for getting your breathing back on track and optimal is a practice put forth by Dr. Andrew Weil called “The 4-7-8 Breath“. I first read about it in his book called “Spontaneous Healing” where he discusses this technique.
This breathing technique has been very valuable to me in reducing my anxiety, having an easier time falling asleep, and generally making me a less stressed person.
Another way to focus on just breathing is to use breaths from yoga. Practicing yoga has helped me to learn how to calm myself down in stressful situations by practicing alternate nostril breathing. You can see an illustration of this technique below:
How do you calm yourself in stressful situations? Have you ever tried either of these breathing techniques? Let me know in the comments below how you remember to just breathe.
For other ideas on ways to calm yourself in stressful situations, please see:
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