When suffering with stress or anxiety it is important to look at how you are breathing.
As part of the nervous system we have the sympathetic nervous system which is stimulated in the stress response and the parasympathetic system which is responsible for resting and regeneration.
When in stress response, the sympathetic nervous system responds by breathing faster and shallower higher in the chest. So when you feel stressed or anxious, look to see what is happening with your breathing.
Are you breathing deeply enough?
Is your stomach moving in and out?
For the parasympathetic system to respond to help calm and relax you try the following exercise:-
- Sit up tall or lie on the bed and place your hands on your lower abdomen just below the navel
Take a deep breath in and your stomach should start to rise and exhale with each in breath
- Inhale for 3 exhale for 5 or 6 and repeat
- Exhalation should take twice as long as the inhale breath which should be quiet and relaxed, similar to a quick sigh
- Do this for a few of minutes several times a day then return to normal breathing
- Practice regularly to help with stress, aid relaxation and reduce tension
This can make a massive difference to the way your body feels, functions and responds.
Get into the habit of taking a few minutes several times during your day to practice.
If you are concerned about your health in anyway do seek the advice of a medical professional.