Just Keep Breathing

Pain, stress and anxiety attacks affect our breathing. If you get injured or experience an extreme situation the natural inclination is to breathe in sharply and hold your breath. Over time the stress caused by ongoing pain or anxiety creates an extra state of anxiety which can lead to shallow breathing or fear of slower deeper breathing.

Gently try out these two techniques. Never strain or over-hold.

Counting techniques

1. In your mind, count (see, imagine, sense) backwards from 100, rhythmically in time with your breathing, and relax a little with each number. You might like to say to yourself after each number, 'relax', 'deeper and deeper', 'calm' or a word that you associate with being relaxed. Do this until you lose count or forget where you've got to and can't be bothered to start over.

2. Count to yourself: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 over and over and try to prevent thoughts nipping in between the numbers. If they do manage to squeeze in, say the numbers quicker so they are closer together. The aim is to only have the numbers in your head with big gaps between them, but it may happen that you forget where you are or forget to remember to count.

3. Box Breathing; Inhale, hold, exhale, hold. Repeat.

If you like you can breathe with the animation.

My ABC123 Breathing Technique to reduce anxieties and create calm is free

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