Why do we say ‘just breathe’ in moments of stress or anxiety? Well, did you know breathing has wonderful benefits for our wellbeing?
Stress and anxiety are often a result of daily hassles and life events. We experience stress and anxiety differently; but we will experience similar physical changes in our bodies.
The science of stress & anxiety
Our bodies react to stress and anxiety which is caused by adrenaline. Adrenaline plays a role in the fight or flight response which is really useful in physically threatening situations.
The role of adrenaline is really useful for survival; but it is also activated in times of stress and anxiety. The brain perceives stress and anxiety as a threat. Perceived threats could be an interview, relationship breakdown or meeting a tight deadline at work. The brain cannot differentiate between physical or perceived threats.
A few examples of physical symptoms :
To reduce these physical symptoms we need to focus on the breath and slow it down, this way we have a better chance at feeling in more control of our stress and anxiety.
How to ‘just breathe’
The key thing to remember is to slow your breath down and use counting to help you to achieve this.
Breathe in for four and breathe out for six, try this for one minute. Notice how you feel. With practice extend the out breathe to reduce the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety. Practice this technique when you are calm as you as more likely to forget it when you are stressed or anxious; give it a go!
If you would like to learn more ways to manage your stress and anxiety, I have a managing your anxiety package which is six taught one to one sessions.