Anxiety and the importance of breathing


People often roll their eyes when they’re being advised ‘how to’ breath.. after all, everyone knows how to breath… don’t they?

Anxiety is our body’s natural response to threatening, dangerous or stressful situations but when it constantly puts us in that ‘fight or flight’ mode it’s exhausting!

Sometimes slight anxiety helps to motivate us or warn us of impending risk or danger however for many of us, our brains over compensate and over protect when we don’t need it to, putting us in that ‘fight or flight’ mode far too often and unnecessarily.

Controlled breathing helps us to neutralise that ‘fight or flight’ response and put our bodies back in to the ‘relax and digest’ mode instead, the mode we are in once a threat has passed.

First of all, remember that before you can take a deep breath, you have to exhale. So often we don’t exhale enough before we start to breathe back in again. And don’t be afraid to be vocal when you exhale, like sighing with relief.

Secondly, when we feel the need to breathe more air in to our lungs, we need to make some more space in our lungs. Our diaphragm sits between our lungs and our tummy so if we allow our tummy to expand as we breathe in, it makes room for our diaphragm to drop, giving us more space in our lungs.

Like most things that are good for us, it takes a little practice but once you’ve mastered it, you will notice the difference when you need it.

Just two steps

Step one: Breathe in through your nose and notice that breath travelling right past your lungs and in to your tummy and allow your tummy to physically expand as you do this. You may find that laying down helps you to feel this.

Step two: Breathe back out through your mouth, allowing your tummy to relax back to normal.

Allow each breath in to be full and deep… and each breath out to be long and smooth.

If you would like some help with this or a chat about your anxiety in general, please feel free to give me call or drop me a message by clicking on CONTACT now.

More posts coming soon…

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