Whenever you get stressed or anxious wouldn’t it be good if you were able to relax straight away?
Learning to breathe is an essential step to managing your anxiety or stress levels as your mind and body work as one, and the way we breathe has a great impact on our state and our thinking. When we get anxious or stressed we tend to breathe fast with shallow breaths, this is because your mind is putting your body through the fight/ flight response because it believes the environment you are in isn’t safe. Your body will then release stress hormones in case you need to fight or run away, this causes more distress and our oxygen levels get depleted. By breathing this way you are not fully clearing the carbon dioxide levels in your bloodstream which then produces a chemical response which then causes more anxiety.
With the 7-11 breathing exercise it quite simply reverses this process. When we make the outwards breath longer than the inwards our breathing deepens and slows downs automatically, our oxygen levels increase getting rid of the carbon dioxide and returns our body and mind to a calm relaxed state within minutes.
Make yourself comfortable and sit down if you can.
Breathe in through your nose to a count of seven. Imagine the air is reaching all the way down to your diaphragm so your stomach gently pushes out with the breath.
Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 11.
Repeat as many times as is necessary for you to feel better and enjoy the relaxed feeling that it brings.
This breathing exercise is quick and very effective and it can be used to help to stop anxiety or stress, to help you to fall asleep at night, to stop panic attacks or any other negative state that leads to a high emotional arousal
However like everything the more you practice this technique the more it will become an automatic behaviour response.
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