To introduce you to my audio products, an mp3 called “BREATHE”, leading you through a short, calming breathing technique is yours when you sign up to my newsletter, on the right hand side of this page.
It is best to start this exercise by listening to the audio so that you can simply relax into it without thinking it all through in text, but you can try this breathing technique by following the instructions below. This is one of many techniques I teach as part of Anxiety Breakthroughs Coaching Programme.
I love it because it is so simple and available to you at any time.
Panicky breathing – what is happening to me?
In an anxious state of mind your breathing automatically speeds up. Also, instead of filling your lungs, if you watch, you will discover that you are only taking short little breaths high up in your chest near your neck.
This is particularly pronounced in panic attacks but present in all anxious states. It changes the blood chemistry and triggers the body’s arousal reactions, which you will feel as anxiety or panic symptoms.
Breathing more deeply in the correct manner does the opposite, triggering the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for calming by slowing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, relaxing the gut and releasing acetylcholine into the blood stream which promotes relaxation and reduces inflammation which is responsible for many illnesses.
I explain all the whys and wherefores of this in Anxiety Breakthroughs.
Once you realise what is happening, breathing can come more under your conscious control.
Take no more than 5 minutes for this exercise:.
Start by sitting down. Later you can do this anywhere. Settle into a comfortable position. Take your attention to your breathing. Simply follow the breath as it comes in to your body, and out again as it leaves. Think of nothing else.
Let go of all thoughts: busy thoughts of the day so far; thoughts of what you will be doing after this. Let thoughts drift on by, or gently exhale any unwelcome thoughts on the exhale.
Place your hands flat, palms down, on your abdomen.
Inhale slowly through your nose, and imagine you are breathing deep down into your abdomen.
As you breathe in, imagine inflating a beach ball in your abdomen on the inhale or if you prefer, simply filling your abdomen with fresh air.
Hold the breath for a few seconds.
Then let the exhale gently fall away through your mouth. Do not push the exhale. As you exhale release the breath from your mouth quietly or with a sigh. A sigh is a natural way to release tension. As you do this, imagine the beach ball gently deflating.
Feel your hands gently rise as you inhale and fall back as you exhale. There should be very little rising and falling of your upper chest. And send an instruction to your shoulders to soften and drop. Do not allow them to creep up around your ears!
The whole process should be gentle. Do not take huge breaths or push the exhale or you may get dizzy. The purpose is to feel calm and relaxed not light-headed.
Free BREATHE audio
On the BREATHE audio you are guided step-by-step through this calm breathing method and there are suggestions for imagery to enhance your experience. You may sign up for this over on the right.
When you do this for a couple of minutes and repeat frequently, you will find it easier to to breathe more deeply and slowly when you need to feel calm.
It is impossible to breathe in a relaxed manner and feel anxiety at the same time. Over time this will also lower your general level of anxiety.
Ahhh… wonderful – you have your breath with you in all situations!