Tag: grounding exercise

5 4 3 2 1 Grounding Exercise – For Anxiety & Stress!

5 4 3 2 1 Grounding Exercise – For Anxiety & Stress!

Today I will talking about one of my favourite grounding techniques, the 5 4 3 2 1 grounding exercise. Stress and anxiety have skyrocketed in recent years — in kids and adults. It’s crucial we discover strategies to cope, to become more resilient, and manage…

4 7 8 Breathing Method – Ultimate Guide!

4 7 8 Breathing Method – Ultimate Guide!

If you’ve ever found yourself in a moment where your stress is through the roof and you struggle to calm down quickly, or you’re fighting against another sleepless night, this breathing technique is for you. The 4-7-8 breathing method, focuses on the three parts of…

Benefits of Deep Breathing – Ultimate Guide!

Benefits of Deep Breathing – Ultimate Guide!

How many times have you been angry, stressed, or anxious and someone told you to just take a deep breath?

Often at times, we write this phrase off as just what you’re supposed to say when you don’t really know how to help. But the truth of the matter is, taking a deep breath is likely exactly what you should do when you’re angry, stressed, or anxious.

Somewhere along the way from childhood to adulthood, most of us subconsciously changed the way we breathe – and not for the better. As babies and children, we naturally breathe deeper ­­- ever notice how a baby’s belly rises and falls as they breathe in and out? Yet as adults, it’s our chest that rises and falls when we breathe.

Why does this matter? If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, shallow, chest breathing might not help you feel any better – but deep, belly breathing definitely could.

 

 

Benefits of Deep Breathing – Ultimate Guide!

 

WHY DEEP BREATHING?

Mindful deep breathing is a proven way to relieve stress that negatively affects your health, well-being, and ability to work out and perform at your best. It’s a simple technique that you can use to consciously evoke the relaxation response.

benefits-of-deep-breathing

When you breathe slowly your heart rate starts to synchronise to the rhythm of your breathing and your body sends a message to your brain: “You’re calm, you’re safe.” When your mind is calm and ready for the challenges that lie ahead, your body will be able to perform better, too.

If you regularly apply deep breathing exercises, you may start to see benefits such as better resilience, reduced cumulative effects of stress, and improved sleep and overall well-being.

 

Are you a shallow breather?

While breathing deeply benefits our overall health and wellbeing, the truth is many of us are shallow breathers. Check this out with yourself right now.  Turn your attention to your breathing. Do you see anything moving?

If the answer is no, you are likely taking shallow breaths. Where there is stress, there is usually shallow breathing – the good news is that with very little effort, deep breathing can become an easy and unconscious practice.

 

THE BENEFITS

Deep breathing is a great way to feel more relaxed and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This can be achieved by breathing slowly through your nose in a gentle manner, then slowly exhaling.

By doing so, your nervous system is tricked into calming down, which helps a variety of bodily functions such as:

  • Boosted energy
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Better sleep
  • Improved function of the immune system
  • Feelings of relaxation
  • Less lactic acid in muscle tissue
  • Fewer stress hormones being produced
  • Balanced oxygen and CO2 in the blood

 

Deep breathing instructions

If you can count to five and can create two minutes of uninterrupted time, you are fully equipped to learn to breathe deeply.

How about doing a deep breathing exercise right now?

  • First, sit upright in a comfortable position, with your hands on your knees and your shoulders relaxed.
  • Now, in your mind, make a conscious decision to focus on your breath.
  • Close your eyes and exhale completely. Your lungs first need to be empty in order to allow you to inhale fully and deeply.
  • Slowly breathe in through your nose for a count of five. Breathe deeply into your lower abdomen. If it helps, picture your lungs expanding with air as you breathe in. As your lungs expand, they push down on your diaphragm causing your belly to expand.
  • Once you have taken a good deep breath in, hold in your breath for a count of three.
  • Then slowly exhale the air out through your nose (or mouth if you prefer) while counting to six.
  • At the end of your exhale, hold once again for a count of three.
  • Take another slow breath in through your nose, again counting slowly up to five.
  • Remember to breathe deeply down into your belly and let your belly expand as far as is comfortable – there is no need to force it.

You can try this method on the go as well, I certainly use it in every day situations – while working, walking etc.

benefits-of-deep-breathing

Repeat this deep breathing exercise 5-10 times, which should only take a few minutes.

  1. Inhale to a count of five
  2. Hold for a count of three
  3. Exhale to a count of six
  4. Hold once more for a count of three
  5. Then repeat

You can practice longer if you like, just build up to it. When you do this deep breathing exercise, expect your mind to wander, that is what the mind does – when you notice this, simply bring your attention back to your deep breathing and begin your count again.

If you feel comfortable, you can inhale and exhale longer breaths, just start with the above instructions and build up to it. I always add one second on top of the exhales – for example: if you inhale for 7 seconds, the exhale would be 8. Just get yourself into a comfortable breathing pattern, and it will all come natural.

 

Important tips

Deep breathing should be slow and gentle – remember to fill the abdomen, not just the chest. A simple way to make sure you are doing this is to place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest.

Breath deeply and if it’s easier for you, put your hand on your stomach is rising. Try to be aware of your breath, heartbeat and to release tension from your body. Sometimes it’s easier to lie down rather that sit comfortably in a chair – whatever suits you best.

 

Make it a routine practice

If you practice this deep breathing exercise on a regular basis, you will notice that it becomes easier to focus on your breathing and eventually you will regularly breathe deeply without having to think about it at all. If you are a really busy person, you may be asking how will have time? Like all practices, you are more likely to be successful if you establish a routine that is realistic for your life.

For example, you could make the decision to take 10 deep breaths first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. You could also make a decision to do 5-10 deep breaths every time you go into a certain room, or at every stoplight, or before every Zoom or MS Teams meeting (or maybe it will be needed more after the meeting.)

Simply tailor this deep breathing practice to what a day in your life looks like. Put sticky notes around as a reminder, or put an alarm on your phone. Again, you will know the best way to remind yourself to breathe…deeply.

 

Benefits of Deep Breathing – Final thoughts

Deep breathing is a practice that has many benefits. It’s often combined with yoga, meditation, guided imagery and other relaxation techniques for even more positive results. Try an activity that you think you might enjoy. Learning ways to relax will help you to become more in tune with your body so you can respond to stress in a healthy way.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years! If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you! I really hope you found this post helpful.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST BREATHING TECHNIQUES BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

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10 Natural Grounding Techniques for Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

10 Natural Grounding Techniques for Anxiety – Ultimate Guide!

Today I will be sharing with you 10 natural grounding exercises for anxiety. Grounding exercises are a way to stabilise strong emotions during stress, anxiety or trauma. Grounding is achieved by redirecting your attention away from what is causing your stress back to something more…

3 Amazing Grounding Techniques – For Anxiety, Stress, Panic!

3 Amazing Grounding Techniques – For Anxiety, Stress, Panic!

Today I will be sharing three amazing grounding techniques for calming anxiety, stress, panic and other negative emotions. Grounding techniques are a way to stabilise strong emotions during stress, anxiety or trauma. Grounding is achieved by redirecting your attention away from what is causing your…

Panic Attack Tips – Easy to Follow Guide!

Panic Attack Tips – Easy to Follow Guide!

Today I will be sharing panic attack tips and techniques that have helped me overcome them in the past.

Panic attacks are truly terrifying, something anyone who has suffered having one will agree with.

Your heart beats out of your chest, breathing becomes more difficult, and everything you feel is impending death.

Luckily there are ways to keep attacks from happening, or even riding one out while remaining relatively calm.

I was 36 when I had my first one, and I needed an ambulance, as at the time I truly believed I was going to die, it was horrible.

The paramedic talked me through calming myself down and I felt a bit silly afterwards as I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack!

I used to suffer with regular panic attacks for a period of about 2 years.

Over time I learned how to control them and calm down myself down, and eventually eradicate them completely.

Panic attacks can be unpredictable, and I think it’s important to know how to deal with them when they happen because you’re not always in a place where you can just lie down and ride it out.

These techniques are designed to take the mind off the state of panic that you’re in and respond to something else instead.

It can help you calm down faster, or avoid the panic attack altogether.

They don’t work for everyone, but here are some of my favourites.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified Councillor/Therapist, therefore all the advice given is from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

How you know you’re having a panic attack

Before you learn how to control panic it is important to first understand what the signs and symptoms are for a panic attack.

Not only does this tell you if that is exactly what you are experiencing, but it helps you to recognise the signs early so you can start implementing some of these strategies quickly.

This lets you put a stop to the panic attack before it progresses, since they do tend to worsen over time. Here are some different symptoms you might experience:

  • Tunnel vision
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Fight or flight
  • Fear of losing control
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Flushes or chills
  • Sweating
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Twitching or trembling muscles
  • Feeling like you aren’t real
  • Flushed face
  • Fear of dying

Many people mistaken the symptoms of a panic attack with a heart attack since they are very similar, right up to the chest pains and dizziness.

The problem with this is that even if you know you are having a panic attack, you have an intense worry that your worrying could lead to a heart attack, which then worsens the symptoms of the panic attack, making you feel like it is leading to a heart attack.

The circle can continue unless you are able to put a stop to it.

 

Panic Attack Tips – Easy to Follow Guide!

 

Recognise the warning signs and symptoms

Since the symptoms of a panic attack can be so intense and frightening, one of the first things you should do if you’re trying to figure out how to stop a panic attack fast is to recognize the warning signs.

After a panic attack occurs, take the time to write out the physical and psychological symptoms you experienced so you can look for consistencies over time.

You’ll probably notice a lot of similarities, and will eventually be able to recognise the symptoms you are experiencing are a result of a panic attack and not something more serious.

Write your symptoms down in a notebook you carry around with you or as a note in your smartphone, and remind yourself to review your list each time you start feeling the symptoms of an impending panic attack.

This will help you remember that you are not losing control or having a heart attack so you can focus on strategies to help bring yourself back to a place of calm.

 

Figure out your triggers

Another great tip for those who want to know how to stop a panic attack fast is to figure out what triggers your panic attacks to begin with.

This can take time, but can be very effective in helping you avoid the things that cause you to feel anxious, and to anticipate and minimise your symptoms when you can’t.

Each time you experience a panic attack, take the time to write down the events that occurred beforehand, as well as the physical and psychological symptoms you experienced.

Over time, you will likely see patterns, and can then formulate a plan to avoid (or manage) your triggers.

 

Retreat to a quiet place

External stimuli can sometimes add to the intensity of a panic attack. If you are in public when symptoms begin, consider retreating to a quieter place until you feel more calm.

If this isn’t possible, closing your eyes and practicing deep breathing can help.

 

Practice deep breathing

If you’re searching for tips to help you learn how to stop a panic attack fast, you’ve probably read about deep breathing.

It’s one of the most common breathing techniques for anxiety and panic attacks, but it’s not always easy for everyone.

It does take practice, but when you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it with ease.

panic-attack-tips

To get started, find a chair to sit down in and put your arms on the armrests.

Take a deep breath in through your nose, lasting for about 5 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds, and then breathe out through your mouth for 7 seconds.

Repeat 10 times, and as you get more comfortable, you can repeat up to 20 times.

If you want to step it up a notch, try mediation.

 

 

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is our innate ability to be fully present in the moment – to focus on where we are and what we’re doing without allowing other, intrusive thoughts, worries, or fears to permeate our minds.

When we’re practicing mindfulness, we’re impartial and non-judgmental to what’s happening around us, and when our minds wander, we redirect our thoughts back to the present moment.

Mindfulness sounds pretty simple in theory, but we live in a day and age where we are encouraged to overschedule our time as much as possible.

It can be surprisingly difficult to focus on the here and now without letting all of the things that are vying for our attention to take hold and send us into a stress-induced state.

If you’re looking for tips on how to stop a panic attack fast, mindfulness is an excellent strategy to learn.

There are tons of great mindfulness resources and classes available online, and you may be able to find mindfulness instructors and classes within your area.

 

 

The 5,4,3,2,1 grounding exercise

This technique will take you through your five senses to help remind you of the present.

This is a technique that can help you achieve a calm mind in stressful situations.

Take a deep belly breath to begin.

5 – LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I see the computer, I see the cup, I see the picture frame.

4 – FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I feel my feet warm in my socks, I feel the hair on the back of my neck, or I feel the pillow I am sitting on.

3 – LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds. It could be the sound of traffic outside, the sound of typing or the sound of your tummy rumbling. Say the three things out loud.

2 – SMELL: Say two things you can smell. If you’re allowed to, it’s okay to move to another spot and sniff something. If you can’t smell anything at the moment or you can’t move, then name your 2 favourite smells.

1 – TASTE: Say one thing you can taste. It may be the toothpaste from brushing your teeth, or a mint from after lunch. If you can’t taste anything, then say your favourite thing to taste.

Take another deep belly breath to end.

 

 

Muscle relaxation techniques

Slow down and focus on one body part at a time and release any tension then move on to the next area.  Practice doing this at night when you’re chilling in bed.

I like to start with my feet and work my way up the body.  Take deep breaths and release any tension in that body part before moving on to the next.

You may drift off to sleep from the relaxation.  During a panic attack focus on this until you’re through the other side of the panic attack.

Close your eyes while doing deep breathing or muscle relaxation.

If you’re feeling lightheaded this is not the best alternative. Instead, focus on an object while breathing.

You may find one way works better for you than another.

 

 

Create a sleep routine

Try to establish a night time routine to improve sleep quality, as well as your ability to fall asleep in the first place.

This may reduce the likelihood of experiencing anxieties during night time hours.

Panic-Attack-Tips

So, aim to go to bed around the same time each night and get up at a regular time as well.

It’s also a good idea to head to bed at a time that will allow you to get 7-9 hours of sleep.

 

 

Talk

If there are others in the house, do not be afraid to wake them up to let them know what’s going on.

They will likely be a reassuring, positive presence to help you get through the panic attack.

If you are alone, there are many 24-hour helplines you can contact for support in getting through your panic attack.

Samaritans and Mind are just two options here in the UK.

 

Focus on an object

During a panic attack, find one object and focus all your attention on it.

Note everything you can about it (patterns, colours, size, etc.) to yourself.

This technique has the potential to take your mind off your panic attack and help your symptoms subside.

 

Take a hot bath or a shower

This can sometimes be an instant fix, but you should let yourself soak in the peace of the moment. Allow the warmth to calm you, and allow yourself to feel safe.

The feeling of being clean is also anxiety reducing, so the whole process can diminish any panic.

 

Think of positive images

Try thinking of positive things during a panic attack.

This could be a list of your favourite songs, foods or animals. For example, start at the beginning of the alphabet, naming a place beginning with each letter, and work your way along from A to Z.

If you can, another idea is to get a notebook and write down a ‘page full of positive things’.

Put down all the things you love (hobbies, sports, people, movies) until the page is full up.

 

Pick a colour

Take a look around you, are there a particular colour you can see? Blue, green, pink?

Now, search the area around you and find as many objects as you can in that colour.

Once you run out of things, you can move on to the next colour. And repeat, until you start to feel better.

This one is quite fun, and if you are a visual person it may be a better option than the two above as you are focusing on things that are actually in front of you.

 

Educate yourself

Learn as much as you can about panic attacks.  This could be the key to your handling of them.

Make sure you learn as much as you can about the possible causes and how to deal with them.

The more information you have, the better able you will deal with a panic attack when you have one.

 

Panic attack tips – Final thought

Each of these ways have been helpful to me when I was suffering from panic attacks.

If you can apply some of them, your panic attacks won’t be so severe and extreme.

Once the severity of the symptoms starts to wear out, you will know that you are on the right track.

It is not a fast process, but if you are persistent in your attempts to prevent and stop panic attacks, at one point they will go away.

What are your coping techniques for panic attacks? I would to hear them below.

I would love to hear your thoughts below on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!

If you have any questions please reach out to me via adam@adam-lawrence.org. I would love to hear from you!

I really hope you found inspiration in this article.

 

 

 

IF YOU FOUND THIS POST USEFUL, THEN PLEASE SAVE THIS PIN BELOW TO YOUR PINTEREST MENTAL HEALTH BOARD OR SOMETHING SIMILAR FOR LATER – THANK YOU!

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Nadi Shodhana Breathing – Pranayama Techniques

Nadi Shodhana Breathing – Pranayama Techniques

Get ready for a series of blog posts covering all of the different kinds of Pranayama breathing techniques (also known as ancient Indian Yoga breathing practices). Today I’m discussing Nadi Shodhana, also known as Alternate Nostril Breath. Sounds glamorous, no? Nadi Shodhana helps to calm…

Box Breathing Exercise – For Stress & Anxiety Relief!

Box Breathing Exercise – For Stress & Anxiety Relief!

Today I will be talking you through the box breathing exercise for stress and anxiety relief. What do yoga teachers, meditation leaders, mindfulness practitioners, Navy SEALs, firefighters, paramedics, and elite athletes all have in common? Take a moment to think about the relaxed state many…