unlock the secret to calm: how mastering your breath can crush anxiety!

unlock the secret to calm: how mastering your breath can crush anxiety!

A significant behavior pattern I've observed in most people, which I find crucial to address, is how anxiety often leads to shallow breathing. This shallow breathing occurs as a learned response, possibly because deeper breaths require more effort. Unfortunately, this shallow breathing reduces the amount of oxygen that enters our bloodstream and decreases the amount of carbon dioxide expelled from our bodies. Consequently, this phenomenon contributes to the negative emotions we experience during triggers and feelings of anxiety and fear.

With reduced oxygen intake, our brain functions less efficiently. When we feel anxious, our brain perceives both psychological and physical danger, prompting it to switch from its smart brain to the "fight or flight" or "reflex" brain. While this side of our brain is essential for life-threatening situations like escaping a car crash or evading a dangerous animal, it often hinders our interactions with others in less critical situations.

For example, when triggered by annoying children, our reflex brain might lead us to yell at them, escalating the situation unnecessarily. This reflex brain is influenced by instinctive reactions from our programming and the accumulation of irrational ideas throughout our lives, including parental influences and societal norms about money and self-worth. As a result, the ancient brain (sympathetic nervous system) proves to be an inadequate guide in most real-world situations, often leading us to make poor choices or react inappropriately when anxious.

However, there is a way to remain grounded in the higher brain (parasympathetic nervous system), which is responsible for intelligent decision-making. To access this part of our brain, it is crucial to adopt proper breathing techniques when anxiety overwhelms us. Engaging in long, deep breaths and exhales while focusing on our breath can activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Utilizing breathing apps or meditation techniques can aid in practicing awareness of breath throughout the day.

To establish a habit of deep breathing, it's beneficial to perform 10 cycles of deep breathing before opening our eyes in the morning. Embracing this simple concept that our breathing quality significantly influences our physical and psychological well-being from moment to moment is essential. While long-term work on emotional problems and character development through therapeutic and holistic methods is valuable, developing an automatic breathing response to daily encounters with anxiety lays a solid foundation for our overall well-being.

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