Are You Feeling Stressed or Anxious? Breathe!
There are a variety of methods available to help us relax. Studies have found that practicing breathing and awareness can help reduce anxiety and panic by counteracting the bodies fight or flight response. With practice, methods like these can help us manage anxiety. Conversely, anxiety can actually increase when we hold our breath or breathe too quickly or shallowly (hyperventilation).
- Choose a time and place where you will not be disturbed and sit or lie in a comfortable position.
- Place one hand on your upper chest and one hand on your stomach.
- Breathe in so that the lower hand (on stomach) moves more than the upper hand (on chest). You will be breathing with the lower part of your lungs.
- While you breathe in, count slowly to 5. Then pause for one count. Then breathe out slowly to 7. Repeat.
- While doing this exercise, become aware of your breathing. Focus your attention on the movement of your hands. Breathe quietly. Be mindful of the position of your body and the even pace of your breathing.
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