These times are likely to be very anxiety inducing for many. As we face the approach of a global pandemic. If you haven’t experienced anxiety before it can be a frightening experience whether mild or extreme. As the sympathetic nervous system kicks in your heart starts racing, you might start sweating or shaking, feel tense or a sensation like an electric shock in the solar plexus or heart in the case of a full-blown panic attack.
This is the body’s fight, flight or freeze response taking over. This is an ancient response designed to help you if facing a sabre-toothed tiger or in modern times a mugger. Breathing well is a highly effective way to reduce the symptoms and return to calm. It won’t stop you catching the virus but can help with fears associated with that.
The nhs recommend a technique called 7/11 breathing. I prefer this, a method that works for me: breathe out as fully as you can then breathe in through the nose and count to five. Breathe out through the mouth and count to ten. If you are very tense this might be difficult start with three in and six out and gradually lengthen the breaths and if you want introduce a pause at the end of each breath. You can do this standing up, sitting or laying down. I do it in the yoga position the child’s pose.
This is a powerful way to soothe and overcome any anxieties at this time. This will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and calm you down. If you are just a little anxious doing this for a few minutes will probably be enough. If you are experiencing severe anxiety set a timer and do it for 20-30 minutes once or twice a day.
It also serves as a detoxing method which will boost your immune system giving your body a better chance to fight off he virus and other infections. Breathe your way to well being.
Here’s the sciencey bit https://www.anxieties.com/57/panic-step4
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