Worry? Blow it away!
One of the easiest, quickest – and inexpensive – ways to control stress, worry and anxiety is through your breath. Our bodies are designed to react to stress and worry by getting us ready to run away, fight, or freeze. When this happens, we breathe shallowly in preparation. It’s only meant for short-term response. Not good in the long term for our bodies and minds.
Deep, slow breathing actually triggers the production of relaxation/anti-anxiety neurotransmitters in our brains.
Think about trying one of the following quick relaxers once or twice a day:
- Sit quietly in a comfortable place without distraction, and begin by breathing in through your nose. Notice what it feels like as the air moves into your chest and belly. Hold your breath for a moment, and then breathe out very slowly through your mouth. Notice the sensations of your muscles beginning to relax as you breathe out. Begin breathing normally, and sit quietly again for a moment or two, then go on with your day.
- Edmund Bourne, Ph.D. suggests another technique that comes from yoga: again, sit quietly and begin breathing through your nose to a count of five. Count “one, two, three, four, five” as you breathe in. Hold your breath easily for a count of five, then exhale slowly to a count of five or more. Begin breathing normally. Repeat as you begin to feel the relaxation. Dr. Bourne suggests doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.
-Dr. Beth A. Davis, Psy.D.