Anyone who lives with an anxiety disorder will know how difficult it is. Whether you have clinical or non-clinical anxiety it can make life feel like an uphill battle.
Having anxious thoughts, you're constantly on high alert. You may even suffer from anxiety attacks or panic attacks. There’s no doubt that anxiety can make your mental health suffer and your daily life stressful. Physical symptoms can include digestive issues, as well as an increased heart rate and trembling.
To put it bluntly, anxiety is rough.
In this post, we will look at how breath-based techniques can help you to manage anxiety, as well as give you some simple next steps.
What does anxiety feel like?
While anxiety feels different for different individuals, there are some commonalities. On the emotional and mental side, many people feel a sense of dread and panic, like something is wrong all the time. This can make emotional regulation very difficult as you feel that you're always in a crisis. Which can lead to obsessive behavior, and on the flip side can lead to procrastination and an inability to act.
There are also associated with anxiety. Firstly, feeling anxious can make it very difficult to sleep. A chronic lack of sleep can lead to a loss of focus, as well as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and even being at an increased risk of a heart attack.
Secondly, anxiety is associated with increased cortisol levels (the stress hormone) which can lead to diabetes, weight loss, or gain, as well as weakening your immune system.
So, while anxiety may feel like stress, shakiness, and tension, it can also feel like being tired, getting sick, and knowing you have things to do but being frozen and unable to act.
People often think that anxiety is not really that bad when in reality it can have consequences.
What can I do to overcome anxiety?
If your first thought was, "Yup, that sounds like me!" your second may have been, "But ?!".
There are more and more treatment options and solutions being found for managing, relieving, and even reducing anxiety. Whereas once the only solution was "grin and bear it" there are solutions ranging from medication to cognitive behavioral therapy, to more holistic practices like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and .
Other things that can help include physical activity, lifestyle changes, and listening to music. If you need support with anxiety disorders it can be a good idea to see a doctor who can provide medical advice.
What is best for me?
There is no silver bullet and no right answer. There is simply what is right for you and what helps you to manage your anxiety symptoms.
More and more mental health experts have been recommending and extolling the virtues of meditation and , which is what we will focus on today. These practices can lower anxiety and can have a calming effect on you.
Is there anything more annoying than someone telling you to "Just breathe" when you're having an anxiety attack or a panic attack?
However (and it pains me to say this!) they do have a point.
Deep breaths and slow exhalations can help when you feel anxious or are experiencing negative thoughts. Deep breathing really does help.
Every emotion has a corresponding breathing pattern. You've probably noticed that when you feel stressed or anxious you feel out of breath and that your breath is very fast and shallow.
When you feel calm and relaxed your breathing naturally becomes slower and deeper.
The mind-breath connection
Due to this relationship between mind and breath, we can actually reverse engineer the process. Rather than our breath being guided by our feelings, we can use our breath to improve how we feel.
When stress levels are high our nervous system acts as if there is a dangerous crisis. This is great if there is a crisis that needs to be attended to, but it's not a good way to live!
So, you can use your breath to reduce stress in the moment (breathe in deeply and exhale slowly) and in the long term, a breathwork practice can help to regulate your nervous system and take you out of crisis mode.
SKY Breath Meditation and anxiety
If you're looking at going the breathwork route to end the vicious cycle of anxiety, then look no further than . SKY was created by Gurudev (the founder of the Art of Living) and has changed the lives of millions (!) of people. Many practitioners have noted significant improvements in just a few sessions.
Research shows that a regular SKY practice has been shown to:
Reduce clinical and non-clinical anxiety and depression
Reduce blood pressure
Reduce cortisol levels
Boost the immune system
Improve feelings of well being and social connectedness
SKY is simple and requires no previous experience with meditation. It helps you come back to the present moment, reduce anxiety, reduce the production of stress hormones, and can even be a sleep aid.
So, if you are ready to feel calmer, reduce excessive worry, and have a way to manage feelings of anxiety SKY is a great solution for you.
A regular practice can boost your mood, improve your lifestyle, and reduce those anxious and stressful experiences.
How can I find out more?
To help you find out more and decide if SKY is right for you, you are invited to join a free introduction session. It's a live session with an expert instructor who will share a breathing technique with you as well as guide you through a meditation. It's interactive so you will also be able to ask any questions you might have.
Click the image below to sign up and save your place.