When anxiety gets hold of you and your body is in full-blown stress mode, you feel like your only options are to freeze, fight or take flight, and you cannot get one decent thought across, nor can you take a calming breath.
When you teach your body to breathe calmly and to counter the shallow and short breaths, that stress evokes, you will change the signals your body receives, due to it feeling potential danger. Your body will then question its reaction because if you maintain deep and calm breathing, you will send a signal of relaxation to your brain.
Relaxation is the opposite of feeling distressed. The brain cannot process relaxation and negative stress at the same time. The assumption your brain will make of relaxed and calm breathing will be that you are not in danger any longer. And if you are not in danger any longer, you are safe and will survive. When your brain and body realize this, they will shut off the freeze, fight or take flight response.
You are then able, again, to construct a decent chain of thought and you will get your language function back.
Now it is time to learn how to influence your breathing and to change your state of stress and anxiety into a state of calm and relaxation of body and mind:
Breathing technique to instantly release anxiety and stress
NOTE: As it counts for all things in life, the more you practice, the easier, and faster, you can apply your newly learned techniques and the sooner they will become natural and automatic to you. The overall health and well-being benefits from reprogramming your breathing will increase your awareness as well as your control over your body and mind.
The importance of this breathing technique is to make sure that your INHALATION is significantly shorter than your EXHALATION.
• Begin, by putting your hand on your belly and making sure you expand your stomach as you inhale so that you can sense the movement of your belly contracting. • Relax your shoulders and the muscles around your eyes • Breathe IN for a count of 7 • Breathe OUT for a count of 11
If 7/11 Breathing feels comfortable to you, continue. If it does not feel comfortable to you, change the numbers, and try one of the following until you find your personal feel-good rhythm:
• Breathe IN for a count of a 6 • Breathe OUT for a count of 10 or • Breathe IN for a count of 5 • Breathe OUT for a count of 9 or • Breathe IN for a count of 4 • Breathe OUT for a count of 8
Practice for 5 to 10 minutes every day.
4 further immediate ACTIONS you can take to reduce your anxiety instantly:
1) become aware of your emotions and thoughts and ACCEPT them. Do not beat yourself up, because you are scared, acknowledge your emotions as such.
2) CHALLENGE your negative thoughts and perceptions: Ask yourself, if what you imagine is true.
3) ADJUST your SELF-TALK: the more you practice empowering conversations with yourself, the deeper they get rooted into your subconscious. Your fear is getting stronger, the weaker your state of mind, when you talk yourself into the negative. What works one way, might as well work the other way around, so TURN your SELF-TALK into the POSITIVE.
4) VISUALIZE yourself as being someone you adore. Someone who acts like you wishes you would, someone self-confident. EXPERIENCE YOURSELF as BEING this someone with all your senses and PLAY being this someone in front of your loved ones. It is a great exercise to ease your mind instantly and bring fun into a situation you feared so much. Play the game and have a laugh.