B = Breathe
“Breathe in – Breathe out”
Focusing on your breath is THE most important thing you can do during a panic attack or bout of anxiety. In times of panic and anxiety you will notice you are taking small, fast, shallow breaths. This breath pattern just feeds the anxiety and panic.
Have you heard of the 4-6-8 breathing technique? It is so simple, but most importantly, EFFECTIVE. Here’s how it’s done: Take your deepest breath of the day for a count of 4; hold that breath for a count of 6; now exhale slowly for a count of 8. Do this twice or three times then breathe normally. Try it now. See? Don’t you feel calmer? This technique works for me every time.
I was once told by a therapist that it is impossible to have a panic attack if you are breathing calmly and deeply. That is why focusing on the breath is such an integral part of yoga practice and meditation.
I found the information below on Livestrong.com: Benefits of Deep Breathing by Karen Spaeder:
“Every day, you take thousands of breaths without even thinking about it. The process of breathing in and out allows fresh oxygen to pass to the blood, as carbon dioxide is removed from the body. Deep breathing, however, is a mindful practice that provides numerous health benefits beyond the standard respiration required to live. With practice, you can train yourself in breathing techniques that reduce stress and improve certain bodily processes.”
Spend some time focusing on your breath. Check in several times a day and do the 4-6-8 technique even when you are not feeling stressed or anxious. Soon it will become one of your go-to exercises in your arsenal of anxiety fighting activities.
I hope you enjoyed this Fearless February series on how to Kick Anxiety to the C.U.R.B.
C = Courage
U = Understanding
R = Relaxation
B = Breath