Relaxation techniques for anxiety – calm yourself

By | June 13, 2017

Anxiety

The cure for anxiety is personal as are the relaxation techniques for anxiety.

When you say you are anxious, does that mean your body feels anxious or is it your mind that is anxious?

Is there a difference between feeling anxious in your body or feeling anxious in your mind?

No, there is no difference.

Anxiety, for the most part, is fear whether in your mind or your body.

The most effective approach to reducing or eliminating fear and anxiety is to give priority to your breath rate.

There is an uptick in people searching for relaxation techniques for anxiety these days, and it’s not just grown-ups seeking, young adults are exploring this question as well.

We are living in a fear driven world, at least that is what we are made to believe, especially here in the United States.

There are many relaxation techniques for anxiety, and below this article, you will find various ways to reduce stress and anxiety in your life, but it is important first to figure out how you get to this anxious space before looking for relief.


Symptoms of anxiety are usually self-diagnosable.

If you notice your stress is completely out of context with actual events taking place, and you cannot stop your mind from overreacting, you are beginning to spiral into the anxiety loop.

If you are one that is in rehab from drug, alcohol or other substance abuse, anxiety will trigger the need to go back to old habits if not taken care of immediately.

Anxiety is the inability to put down a worry; the mind becomes restless to the point of losing the ability to breathe easy which then causes rapid heart rate and in many people, loss of appetite.

The opposite can also be true; the mind becomes restless to the point of losing natural breathing patterns causing one to overeat compensating for their discomfort.
Relaxation techniques for anxiety

The most common anxiety today is the inability to stop the mind from non-stop racing thoughts.

Yogi Bhajan once said ‘humans think one thousand thoughts per blink of the eye.’

One thousand thoughts per blink of the eye are way too many thoughts!

With the bombardment of social media and our phones constantly adhered to our bodies with notifications and constant updates, it is no wonder that we are living in an anxiety-ridden world.

Young Teens with Anxiety is on the rise.

Distressed young teens are on the rise and experts in the mental health field are trying to find ways to help without having to resort to psych meds, which personally I feel is way too over-used.

Teenagers have active minds, and they are always looking for stimulation, smart phones and computers have taken over and in many ways, this can be achieved, but not always for the better.

Teens today are the post 9/11 generation, whereby raised in the era of national and economic insecurity. These teens have never known a time in their short lives where terrorism and school shootings weren’t a part of normal living.

These same teenagers have watched their parents get through a severe economic recession, many still living the insufferable losses never to recover, and more importantly, these kids have hit puberty the same time social media and technology is transforming our world.

The pressure to be happy, look great, and live up to the images they see on social media is too much for these teens, and kids.

 Kids that have decided it wasn’t worth the constant fight to keep up with their peers either withdraw into their private world taking drugs to numb their feelings of inadequacies or worse, take their lives, committing suicide.

The single biggest thing you can to do to help your kids is to spend uninterrupted quality time with them.

Do you know how kids spell love?

T . I . M .

Spend time with your children, put your smartphone down, and listen to them attentively.

If you have a child you are suspecting of sudden isolation or anyone else for that matter, please have them look at this, and it may save a life.

Teen suicide is on the rise, and we must take action now to help our kids grow into happy, healthy and fully functioning adults.


 So what happens when we feel anxious?

Here are some symptoms that occur while your body is experiencing anxiety:

  • Chest Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • A pulsing in your ear
  • Nervous and upset stomach
  • Skin feels hot and itchy
  • Facial muscles twitch and feel painful
  • Mind can’t non-stop racing thoughts
  • Legs begin to feel weak and less stable

Anxiety affects everyone differently, but for many, these are the most common:

  • Becoming easily fatigued
  • Trouble with concentration
  • An inability to fall asleep quickly
  • Feeling irritated without knowing why

Relaxation techniques for anxiety

It is a difficult thing to imagine but most people do not breathe correctly, and when they become anxious they stop breathing altogether until they must take a breath.

You must learn how to breathe in such a way that you’re thoughts follow your breath.
Your breath will dictate how your mind reacts, or not, to any given situation.

When you learn how to breathe consciously and correctly your breath will bring the much-needed oxygen to your brain where your thoughts are created.


Worry

Worrying is the cause of anxiety.

Foods affect how the body reacts to anxiety but not as much as your mind and non-stop worrying.

We all worry about things in our life but worrying too much can cause anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders include:

  • obsessive-compulsive behavior
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • panic attacks

Close to forty million Americans alone suffer from anxiety disorder. (1)

It does not surprise me with the stresses and hardships many of us face daily; that there are so many Americans with some form of Anxiety disorder.

Stress, anxiety, and worry is affecting everyone.

It doesn’t matter whether you are wealthy, poor, old or young, anxiety is the same all across the human spectrum.

Relaxation techniques for anxietyToday, more than ever in our history, prescription drugs are being filled to help people fight anxiety disorders.

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time.

Stress is normal, which is why anxiety is not considered a medical, biological, chemical, or genetic problem.

The ‘disorder’ in anxiety occurs when the ability to function normally with your daily routine has come to a stop.

Your mind won’t let go, and your body feels paralyzed by your spinning thoughts.


So what will you DO to help yourself not be so anxious in these incredibly challenging times?

The first thing is acknowledging you have anxiety and not sugar coating your inability to cope.

Countless people are suffering unnecessarily only because they have not accepted their anxiety.

Here is what you must do to help yourself keep stress at bay.

These relaxation techniques for anxiety are proven to be full proof, but you must be willing to work at it and make it your daily routine.

Practice the One Minute Breath:

Here is a great relaxation technique for anxiety; it’s called the one-minute breath.

The one-minute breath equals one cycle per minute.

  • 20 seconds upon inhaling
  • 20 seconds holding breath
  • 20 seconds upon the exhale

NOTE: All breath is done through the nose.

These are just a few of the benefits to practicing a one-minute breath:

  • Helps develop your intuition
  • You become open to your own spirit
  • You will instantly feel the calming affect from anxiety, fear, and worry.
  • Both sides of your brain will be optimized bringing more clarity and cooperation.
  • Your entire brain will function specifically the frontal hemispheres.

Not everyone can do this one-minute breath, especially on their first try!

Here are a few tips to make this challenge a bit easier:

To begin with, make yourself comfortable, this can be practiced in a chair ( have both feet touching the ground evenly) with your hands in Gyan Mudra or sitting comfortably on the ground with your legs crossed with hands in Gyan mudra. 

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Be sure you are warm, have a shawl or blanket to cover yourself if needed.

Take a few minutes to sit still and just breathe normally, watch your thoughts as they are always with us, no sense in thinking your thoughts will not be there.  With time your thoughts will be less and less but it takes practice and commitment.

Begin with a slow and steady inhale, fill your lower belly, reaching up to your lungs and all the way up to your chest, allow for a 20 second inhale.

Once your breath is up to your chest lock it there for 20 seconds.

Then exhale, slowly gently and steadily for 20 seconds.

At the end of 20 seconds gently reverse to an inhale and begin again.

You may do this as long as you are feeling comfortable as there is nothing quite like stilling the mind with this practice.

If you are having difficulty working the one-minute breath here are two other approaches:

First approach:

  • Be okay with working up to it, don’t fight it.
  • Start with a 10 second inhale.
  • Hold the breath for 10 seconds.
  • Exhale to the count of 10 seconds.

Second Approach:

  • Start with a 15 second inhale.
  • Hold the breath for 15 seconds.
  • Exhale to the count of 15 seconds.

Lastly, if none of the above feels helpful to your overall wellness and experience, do less!

There are many of us fighting auto-immune diseases, cancer, asthma and a host of other health related issues.

This does not mean you cannot follow your breath to the timing that suits your needs.

If you can only do 3 seconds on the inhale, 3 seconds on the hold and 3 seconds on the exhale, then that will work, too.

It is always about how you BALANCE yourself with what you can do for how long you can do it without hurting yourself.

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The most important part of this is being conscious of your breath, no matter whether if it’s for 20 seconds, 10 or less.

There are many other relaxation techniques for anxiety but personally, I have found the one-minute breath to be the best.

You won’t need to purchase any fancy items nor will you have to dress in any style for whichever yoga class you’re thinking of joining.

The beauty is you can do this from the comfort of your home and work it at your own pace.

I can promise you that with a regular practice you will see the results quickly and your anxiety will be lessened by your ever-increasing awareness.

12 thoughts on “Relaxation techniques for anxiety – calm yourself

  1. Stephanie

    I am a sufferer of Anxiety. It began when my ex-husband slapped me with divorce papers after coming home from his deployment. He wanted the house, full custody of the kids, and just simply throw me away. Anyways, I learned how to deal with it through yes, breathing, but also exercising and working out. Life is indeed stressful and I do not think there is enough information out there on how to deal with stress with life hits us with a traumatic event. Do you think there is still a stereotype out there about getting help through mental health counseling? And you are right about the overuse of prescription drugs to treat anxiety. I spoke to my doctor about it and that is the first thing he wanted to do – put me on drugs.

    Thank you for the information.

    Reply
    1. Meherbani

      I don’t know too many people these days that do not suffer from anxiety. It seems we are living in an anxiety-ridden world.
      What happened to you is terrible and should never happen to any mother, especially with children involved. There is certainly enough yoga classes to help ease anxiety, but for the most part, these newer ‘modern’ classes are filled with body mechanics and less focus on breath relating to the psyche. I do not think there is a stereotype for seeking mental health, not these days. I would say it’s a good thing to reach out and find help rather than not. Thank you for sharing and leaving a comment.

      Reply
  2. Norman Richards

    Awesome post great information that will really help your readers to understand what all of this is about. Great breakdown

    Reply
  3. siobhan

    As a non-parent, I can understand that kids nowadays must be living in a state of anxiety. I do feel fortunate that the SM bubble began once I had left my childhood behind.

    I really liked the one-minute deep breathing technique and plan to incorporate that into my daily life – am sure it would help with my general well being.

    Reply
    1. Meherbani

      My kids are older now but my grandkids are right in it so I can’t even imagine how my daughter will deal with it. 

      I think all this deep breathing will be more for this grandmother than anyone else reading, haha. 

      Great that you will incorporate it into your daily life, it will only help that much I know for sure. 

      Reply
  4. Bobby Kundu

    A nicely written article. On occasion, I too use a similar breathing technique to calm down. I mainly repeat a inhale, hold, and exhale for 5-10 seconds each for several times before I become calmer. I believe what makes similar breathing techniques effective is that the breather is forced to concentrate on his/her breath rate for an expended period instead of his/her usual thoughts to break the anxious thought patterns. This is based on observing my own mental state when I perform such breathing. Do you think the same based on your own breathing experiences?

    Reply
    1. Meherbani

      Yes, absolutely true for me, too.  It’s all a matter of what you are paying attention to and as a meditator, I use my breath to help me focus.  This helps block out the chatter of life and allows me to calm myself completely. 

      Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  5. Daniel

    Hey thanks for the interesting read. This article is really helpful. I have a lot of anxiety when giving presentations. What do you suggest to do in this situation because clearly you can’t do breathing exercises in the middle of a speech? Like you said worry is the root cause. Easier said than done but not worrying about your speech ahead of time may be the most important thing to do.

    Reply
    1. Meherbani

      If your train your breath to be stable in the pattern, a slow steady inhale and exhale,  then the mind will always be subservient to the discipline of your breath rate. It is the nature of anxiety to direct the thought pattern and the only thing that is superior to thought pattern is breath stability.  thank you for your comment.

      Reply
  6. stephanie

    we really often forget the importance of breathing. this is so important, i love this guide. I often find myself getting anxious and worrying over silly things. its good to know thats so normal and just being reminded to take a deep breath definitely helps. thanks so much for posting this.

    Reply
    1. Meherbani

      Isn’t it amazing how we forget the very fundamentals of living, like steady breath to control anxiety?

      Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Reply

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