3 things to do if you are feeling stressed

One thing we can guarantee while we are alive is that we are breathing. If we don’t breathe, we die.

Breathing can be very helpful in calming us down, but it can also contribute to our anxiety and fear when feeling distressed.

Mindfulness uses breathing as a basic anchor.

I always caution people with unresolved trauma to be careful of mindfulness and other meditation because of the dangers of focusing internally if you are overwhelmed.

Breathing is not a problem. And a focus on breathing is not a problem.

If you are feeling stressed and feel you are in danger of becoming overwhelmed you can try these 3 steps to help you calm down.

When you are stressed, your breathing starts to become shallow. That leads to more stress. Deepening and lengthening your breathing is important to allow you to turn off the stress response and calm down

Breathing is a wonderful tool to use when you need to calm down because we always have our breath with us.

The next time you realize your breath is shallow and you are feeling stressed and anxious, here is what you can try:

  1. Bring attention to your breath. Notice as you breathe in, and notice as your breathe out. As your attention turn to your breathe, try to make each in breath longer and each out breath longer. Once you feel your breathing is becoming more regular and settled, move on to the next step.
  2. If you can, sit down. You are more likely to feel relaxed if you are sitting. If you can’t that is okay. Just notice what your body is doing. Feel your feet on the ground. Feel your body sitting on the chair. Feel the air temperature around you. Is there a breeze? Can you smell anything? What can you see?
  3. Now return your focus to your breathing. Breathe in for the count of 4. Hold your breath for the count of 7. Then blow the air out through pursed lips for the count of 8. This not only gives you something to focus on but it also sends signals to your brain to calm down.

Try this technique for a few minutes.

This technique will be more effective if you regularly set aside 5 or so minutes each day to practise mindfulness. The practice listed above is ideal for that purpose as well as for you to use when you are feeling stressed.

If you would like to learn more about mindfulness or would like help with healing your trauma, please contact me on 0409396608 or nan@plentifullifecounselling.com.au

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz

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