Monday, December 06, 2010

don't forget to breathe

Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever : NPR

this article is consistent with everything i've heard about the benefits of mindful breathing.

deliberately drawing long, deep breaths has positive psychological and physiological effects.  it's kind of like taking a potent dose of aspirin, without negative side-effects.  your body and mind simultaneously relax.  anxiety yields to light euphoria.

if you're feeling agitated, try it.  only takes a few minutes.

source of pretty breathing girl


lest you dismiss this as new age nonsense, consider that even the US Army acknowledges the importance of mindful breathing in regulating the nervous system.  they teach the following techniques:

-  to cope with sharp pain, focus intensely on drawing deep, rapid breaths (think Lamaze technique).  this acute concentration will overwhelm your senses, dulling other sensations.

-  to overcome anxiety/fear/panic, slow and deepen your breath.  follow the below pattern, counting slowly to 4 in your head.

inhale (1-2-3-4)
hold (1-2-3-4)
exhale (1-2-3-4)
hold (1-2-3-4)

this rapidly lowers your pulse, reduces your physical and psychological arousal, and disengages your adrenal gland, shutting down the fight/flight reaction.

next time you have sweaty palms and shaky knees before a presentation, give this a try.


Mr Bouchard said...

I always use this method to calm myself when I can't get a hold on any benzo!

Smile said...

the breathing exercise is extremely useful for anxiety attacks

tigey said...

That is so true, deep breath helps a lot

tigey, head of PL Team