Feeling Anxious? Learn how to bring the tension under contol with these breathing techniques.
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Learn How to Defeat Anxiety With These Easy Breathing Exercises
Our guest blog is from Jane Evans, who is an expert in anxiety. Here are her top tips for controlling anxiety.
Anxiety can be tamed by the power of breathing and here are a couple of techniques I use to help young people and children reduce their anxiety.
Body Regulating Exercises
Take a deep breathe. The chances are your shoulders shot up and the oxygen went in and out of the top part of your body. However, getting oxygen in to the lower part of our body is what can help us feel calmer, to do this we need to breathe differently. Breathing in to our belly, we switch on a system which is all about ‘resting and digesting’. It reassures the rest of our body and brain that we are safe. It takes practice but is really worth it!
Practice putting both hands on your stomach, breath in through the nose blowing up a ‘belly balloon’ full of air, hold it. then breathe out through the mouth, which means the ‘belly balloon’ goes flat again!
REPEAT REGULARLY THROUGHOUT THE DAY NOT JUST IN TIMES OF STRESS
SIGH YOUR SELF ‘SAFE’
Another simple way to release a state of tension the body and the brain is a great big SIGH!!
Children often get told its “rude to sigh” so they stop doing it (well mostly).
It is one of Nature’s other great ways of simply letting go of tension which may be present for a range of reasons, and signalling to our survival system “it’s safe”.
A BIG SIGH switches on the useful lower body rest and digest system, whilst releasing the stress held just below our chest in our diaphragm.
Purrrrrr with Calm Cat
Long, low sounds like:
- ship’s foghorn – voooooooooo
- long – Mmmmmmmmmmmm
- long – Ooooooooooooooooooo
- purring - Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Helps our whole system feel more relaxed and switches on ‘downstairs’ calm down system and soothes all of our major organs in our body, and also our brain.
Jane Evans is a former respite foster carer, she now works one to one with foster carers, and is a speaker, trainer and writer on the impact of childhood anxiety and trauma. She is known for her TEDxTalk on ‘Taming and tending your Meerkat brain’ and her range of books to address complex issues, such as growing up without a map for love and kindness, or in a ‘stormy home’, simply with children. They are published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, and are widely available online.
Jane Evans Website
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All images on this are the copyright of Jane Evans. All rights reserved.