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Breathwork for anxiety and panic attacks

Have you ever been in a state of panic? Was there ever a time when you felt extreme overload and overwhelm?

In such moments, it would seem that there’s no way out; a sense of drowning hopelessness and emptiness sets in. Being in these moments of trying times can happen to anyone, as we are – after all – human.

And yet, one can take comfort in the fact that a solution is always available. We may not be able to reach such solutions to certain situations immediately, but we have every power to take hold of ourselves and align our minds to a more stable plane – which will help to give us more clarity to see the situation in the broader perspective.

What then should we do when these trying moments come to us? The solution can literally give your life a breath of fresh air. Through simple breathing methods, you can come to terms with your fears and worries. You can eventually conquer them through a proper mindset, and come up with clear and conscious solutions if you take these life-changing steps.

Proper breathing has the power to influence your state of mind. It activates the nervous system with the release of respective hormones to calm the mind; and counter the overproduction of adrenaline which causes the feeling of high alertness and nervousness. Learning how to breathe through anxious moments can help keep you centered; as you introduce the proper balance of oxygen intake and release of carbon dioxide, you take better control of your energetic system. This balance signals your brain to get on a steady plane, putting you in a more subtle and calm state. And doing this regularly, habitually, will result in reorienting and rewiring your brain – your consciousness – to stay still and centered. By doing so, you shall have mastery of your mind.

So first thing’s first, allow yourself some space and time to flow with those emotions. Running away from your worries or trying to ignore them will not make them go away. Such a manner of addressing these thoughts will only result in piling up these concerns and worries at the back of your head, within your subconscious, without really facing them head-on. It reinforces the fear of addressing them, without any clear pathway or answers. How much longer do you really want to hold on to these mortifying thoughts? Be aware of them, acknowledge these concerns, let them be, let them flow, and sit with these feelings. Know that in truth, the only way out is through.

Now what proper breathing technique should you do in such times to keep you steady?

This method has worked wonders in so many ways. This one in particular allows you to slow down your breathing. You can start off by taking in a deep slow breath, counting six seconds drawing that breath in through the nose. Hold for four seconds, and exhale slowly through the mouth – again counting six seconds. Make sure that you’re doing deep belly breaths, keeping it gentle and unforced. Repeat this method for about 10-15minutes. At such time you should observe that your nerves shall have calmed and steadied, as well as your heart rate.

You may also do gentle Ujjayi breathing, wherein both the inhalation and the exhalation are done through the nose. This breathing technique is sometimes also used in yoga practice during asanas. In yoga, the breath is just as important as the pose; in fact the breathing is more so than the pose. So for this method, as you take in your deep breaths, you keep your mouth closed. When exhaling, make a gentle constriction of the throat to create a rushing noise as you breathe out, like you are whispering. Repeat the rhythmic process for about 10-15minutes.

In both methods above, control your breathing with your diaphragm, and make sure that the counts for both the inhalation and exhalation are equal.

These methods can improve your concentration, release tension throughout the body, and regulate your body temperature accordingly.

With regular and habitual practice, you are well on your way to not just potentially addressing a moment. Beyond a moment’s relief, you’ll find that this in fact helps you find a more centered self and a more stable sense of mastery of your own mind.

You have the power to release yourself from the shackles of fear. Keep connecting with your Source. Live with hope, joy, and light.

Namaste!

 

15 July 2022

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