Breathing exercises are a great way to reduce anxiety.
There are 2 main types of breathing. Chest breathing or diaphragm (belly breathing)
Anxiety and chest breathing have a strong association, In fact we can alter the way we feel simply by the way we are breathing. So when doing breathing exercises you need to do them properly, so that your not breathing in the way that is linked to creating/feeling anxious.
It’s important to know the difference and learn how to do diaphragm (belly ) breathing, to know you are doing it correctly, either lay on the floor or sit up nice and straight 🧘♂️ place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach 👐
You are aiming for your chest to stay still and for the hand on your stomach to be going in and out.
When you inhale, the stomach goes out and then exhale, the stomach goes in, it’s the diaphragm doing all the work.
Once you’ve got the hang of this then start counting the breath.
Breath through the nose, inhale for 5 exhale for 7 or a 4 x 4 breath. Breath in for 4, hold for 4, release for 4 or what ever pattern feels comfortable.
The in breath needs to be shorter than the out breath.
Aim to practice this each day for around 5 minutes.
Your mind and body will feel the benefits.
When we are anxious our sleep can suffer, unfortunately lack of sleep can then result in increased anxious thoughts.
So it’s important that we take steps to help to improve the quality of our sleep.
* Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
* Healthy eating, cut the sugar which is also linked to anxiety.
* Don’t eat too much or too late in the evening, the more calories consumed at night the more you will delay the ability to fall asleep, also the quality of your sleep
* Don’t listen to the rolling news
* Limit screen time
* Make sure your room is completely dark, wear an eye mask if needed, or get black out blinds
* Your body temperature has to drop to allow sleep to happen, so keep your bedroom cool, open a window and let the fresh air in.
* Don’t get into bed until you are ready to go to sleep, going to bed early to watch telly, heats the mattress and raises your temp and slows the ability to then get to sleep, it also send mixed messages to the mind.
If your mind is still busy and working over time :
* practice breathing exercises, as detailed in previous post or just a simple in for 6 out for 6
* Progressive muscle relaxation
* Check in on your jaw! If your holding it clenched, relax it, so that you notice a visible drop, this is really important!
* Counting. Your mind will find it relentlessly boring and eventually give in, it will try to pull you away to more interesting thoughts but as soon as you realise you’ve stopped counting, just pick a number and start again.
* Sounds strange but practice being tired, yawn 🥱
If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back off again, after trying the above:
* get up and have a warm drink (non caffeine)
* Leave the bed sheets turned down, so the bed cools again.
* Read a boring book until the mind is tired
* Don’t go on your phone
Most of all don’t force it, just let yourself relax. #anxietyawareness #anxietyrelief #hypnotherapy #sleep
Gratitude & Anxiety
Practicing and expressing gratitude has the incredible ability to rewire an anxious brain.
With the right actions and thought patterns, the brain uses its plasticity to change, rewire and eliminate those anxious triggers.
For me, gratitude isn’t about just saying thank you, it’s an emotion, it noticing things, it’s being aware,
Its about developing a feeling.
It’s not big things, it’s the little things.
It’s about looking up into the sky and seeing the wonderful colour of blue that it is at the moment.
It’s the beautiful blossom in the trees. 🌺
The feeling of the warmth of the sun.
I love to use nature as a point for practicing gratitude. ☺️
Everyday, think of 3 things that you are grateful for, write them down in a diary, this helps to secure them in the mind.
It can even be how lovely your first cup of tea/coffee of the day tastes or the feeling of the warm water in the shower.
Think of the little things, bring an awareness to them, and practice developing the feeling of gratitude 💕