When you’re feeling anxiety you know those symptoms…rapid breathing, sometimes even holding your breath, increased heart rate. Your autonomic nervous system kicked in. It’s natural and helpful at times. But what to do when you don’t need to be in fight/flight/freeze and all that cortisol and adrenaline pumping through your system?
Try these 3 things:
- Deep Breathing: this is a good thing to practice even when you’re not experiencing anxiety. It improves something called “vagal tone”, which also helps with depression and PTSD. Gently take a deep belly breath and slowly breathe out (in and out through your nose).
- Soften Focus: gently close your eyes, then gently open them. Instead of looking intently at what is in front of you, soften your gaze, notice your peripheral view.
- Yawn: try a fake yawn and most likely it will trigger a real yawn. Even watch a video of people yawning. It works!!!
There are good scientific explanations for why and how these ideas work, but that would make this blog way too long:)
Practice these regularly so that they are almost automatic and easily done. You will likely find that not only will they help you calm down from feeling anxiety, they can even help you stay more consistently calm.