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 and hold your breath for a second or two.
4 - Breath out slowly and fully 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 state for longer. This lowers your heart rate and blood pressure while releasing stress hormones from your bloodstream.
Using this technique regularly along with Therapeutic Writing can lower anxious symptoms and increase self-awareness and your overall mood.
As a test you could try rating your current stress level 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 why not add this practice to your regular schedule - think of it as a gym session for your mental and emotional self. Best of luck.