Breathing for calm
Controlled breathing, is natural first-aid for anxiety. It shifts your nervous system from a stressed state - to a restorative one. A 4-6 breath is a simple proven method to try - here’s how:
1 - Sit comfortably and 'think tall' to help straighten your posture.
2 - Breath in slowly through your nose into your belly for 4 seconds
3 - Pause for a second or two
4 - Breath out slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds
5 - Repeat for one to two minutes.
Why does it work? A longer 'out-breath' than 'in-breath' rebalances your nervous system by keeping it in a restorative healing state (the out breath) for longer. This lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and releases stress hormones from your bloodstream. Using this technique along with Therapeutic Writing can lower anxious symptoms and lift your mood and confidence if done regularly and consistently.
As a test - rate your current stress level on daily basis from 0 (relaxed) to 10 (highly stressed). If you find yourself consistently under 5, unable to relax and over-thinking - pause and try 4-6 breathing for 2 to 3 minutes followed by 5 to 10 minutes of Therapeutic Writing. Check in again with your stress level afterwards. Feeling calmer and thinking more clearly? If so then add this practice to your regular schedule - think of it as a gym session for your emotional fitness. Best of luck.