It seems to me that anxiety is on the rise — every day I hear people talking about their anxiety, and I am hearing many say that it’s so overwhelming their lives are interrupted and they can’t function in their normal ways. We all experience anxiety at one time or another, and in small, ‘healthy’ amounts, it can serve us. Healthy anxiety helps us to pay attention and gets us motivated in one way or another, like some anxiety before taking an exam, or public speaking, or doing something new and yes, anxiety can even keep us on time.
The problem is when it takes over and the anxiety becomes much bigger than the actual trigger and everyday life is impacted negatively. When you have big anxiety based on a small, unrelated or even unknown event, it’s incredibly scary (am I losing it?) and it is even scarier when the body produces painful physical symptoms (am I dying?). One of my family members suffered with panic attacks, an intense rush of anxiety, with physical symptoms that felt like a heart attack. Very real, very scary. High anxiety can have you feeling like the ground beneath you is completely falling away and plays havoc with feelings of self-trust and safety.
What to do?
Mindfulness is one way of bringing down anxiety. Anxiety has you in a fearful future; mindfulness can help to bring you back. Here is a quick mindfulness breathing exercise that is a natural tranquilizer for use when you are feeling anxious, when anxiety is looming large, when you feel overwhelmed or if you have internal tension. Its also great for helping you fall asleep which can be a problem for anxious minds.
This breath is done counting an inhale of 4 seconds, holding for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. Repeat the sequence three or four times (about 1 minute):
Sit up straight or stand. Feel your feet firmly on the ground.
Place the tip of your tongue on soft ridge behind your upper front teeth for the duration of the breathing.
Take a long slow belly breath in through your nose for a count of 4.
Gently hold the breath inside your body and hold for a count of 7 (don’t strain, just hold as long as you can if you can’t make 7).
Exhale through your mouth around the tongue making a whoosh sound for a count of 8. Bend slightly forward to really get all of the air out of your lungs.
I believe that life is supposed to feel good. To support you getting back to ‘feel good’ — or feel better — between now and January 30 I am offering a package aimed at reducing anxiety, for those folks who want to understand and get anxiety, worry and fear back to a manageable and healthy place. You will learn mindful hypnosis techniques, experience hypnotherapy to connect to inner resources and gain insight and wisdom about yourself and your relationship with anxiety, and recalibrate and balance your energy systems.
Why now? The holiday season is a time of heightened stress and anxiety. This makes now the the perfect time to build new skills and resources for a grounded and less anxious season. If you are ready for change and want approach the holiday season and new year with new tools, understandings, insights and most of all with less anxiety, click HERE to go to the appointments page for ‘anxiety package’ details.