Finally, some relief for anxiety & panic attacks
If you suffer from anxiety, then you know all too well how quickly an anxiety attack can spiral out of control. No matter how we try, we just can’t get ourselves back to our rational state of mind.
If we don’t get ourselves calm quickly, that anxiety can quickly escalate into a full-blown panic attack. This cycle of self-feeding escalation then triggers another built-in feature of our “self-preservation defenses”.
Fight or flight paradox
When we are anxious, we don’t feel our fight or flight reflexes activate. However, once that anxiety gives way to panic everything within us reacts as well. Our blood pressure rises and our pulse quickens as we pump blood away from our core towards our extremities preparing ourselves to flee.
Flee? To where exactly? It’s not like we can outrun ourselves, can we?
This is the most misplaced time for our body to use this response. Yet, as we are panicking and working ourselves up further and further, our body reacts as if to say, “Hell with this, dude!Let’s get out of here!”
Wouldn’t that be lovely?
The Triangle Breathing Technique
There is a way to counter our internally automated sympathetic system (Fight or Flight) and transform it into a parasympathetic response, thereby reversing and deescalating our internal band of riotous, emotional-hooligan feelings to a dull roar. We can do this with a simple, rhythmic breathing technique, called Triangle Breathing.
To do this, sit comfortably with your back extended straight and your spine elongated, or if you feel safer, you can lay on the ground. Either way, make sure that your spine is straight and long. As you close your eyes, turn your focus inward to your breath.
- Inhale slow and deep as you count 4 seconds. Feel your lungs expand as they fill with oxygen-rich air. (Something your panicked shallow breathing hasn’t really allowed.)
- At the top of your inhale, remain extended and hold that breath for 7 seconds making sure all that oxygen soaks into your body and your arteries again flow with pure oxygenated blood.
- Slowly, exhale through your mouth as you count 8 seconds, releasing the leftover Carbon Dioxide from your body.
- Repeat as long as needed to regain your mindful presence.
The parasympathetic response our bodies transcend into reverses the results of our fight or flight reflex. In doing so, our blood pressure lowers, our heart rate returns to normal, and so too will our cognitive and nervous systems as well.
Anxiety is manageable
As long as we are mindfully self-aware of what triggers our anxiety, then we can proactively manage it. It is when we are not mindful that problems arise and escalate quickly. Anxiety IS manageable. Sometimes, we just need a little help
Anxiety IS manageable. Sometimes, we just need a reminder to slow ourselves down. Hopefully, The Triangle Breathing Technique will work for you as it did for me. I wish you many anxiety free days to come, my fellow travelers.
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