Writer | Mom
The world can offer plenty of stress—all the time and in all sorts of ways. Some worries are part of every day life, such as those about jobs and school and schedules and kids, as well as health and well being. Some worries are about things you can control that may stress you out (what’s for dinner), and others are about things you can’t control (what bad thing might happen in the world). Thrown together and tossed into the routines of our daily lives, events both real and imagined can create what feels like unmanageable stress. And that’s not good.
Too much stress can manifest itself in really dark and harmful ways. You might find yourself not sleeping well, or not eating enough, or eating too much. Your mood might get darker, or you might have trouble concentrating. Or if you’re like many people, you might not be able to breathe.
Anxiety, in fact, often manifests itself as a condition that quite literally feels as if it’s taking away our breath. Stress takes what for many of us is a completely natural occurrence that begins at birth—the breath—and disrupts it. Your breath might become scattered or too shallow, for example, or you might feel as if you are holding your breath in.
But don’t despair: There are actually some easy-to-learn techniques, based on ancient learnings, that can release some of that agitation and help you get your breath and your anxiety under control. For example, simply using a repetitive breathing practice that focuses you to concentrate, to count, and to focus on where you are breathing from can quickly help you get your breath back. Other techniques use visualization or even other parts of the mouth.
So, what can you do to control your breath and your anxiety? The graphic below contains some helpful tips:
About Abby Quillen
Abby writes about sustainability, green living, health, business, and other topics. Her work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, YES! Magazine, and dozens of other publications. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her family.