18 July 2014

Lifestyle | Surviving Stress: Breathe Your Way to Balance

Source: Google

You may remember from a few posts ago, I mentioned having quite a bad panic attack and generally not a very nice time of things. Since then I've used the following technique whenever I've felt myself getting stressed or panicky and I've found it to be absolutely invaluable. 

Before I explain the technique in further detail let me state that I have absolutely no medical qualifications (I can't even do First Aid), no psychology qualifications or anything in meditation - all I know is this works for me and maybe it will for you. Trying it won't harm you.

I picked this up in my GCSE drama classes at school, my teacher would use it to help us focus before rehearsals and I've used it many times over the years to help me sleep but I've also started to use it when I feel stressed, anxious or panicky. 

Ideally you need to find somewhere reasonably private as I find it best to lay down whilst doing this but obviously that isn't always practical so just find somewhere you feel comfortable to close your eyes and "rest" for a few minutes.

Once you're settled close your eyes and focus on the sounds furthest away from you, for me this is usually the road outside and I hone in on the traffic noises, trying to hear as far away as possible. Focus on this for a few minutes.

Gradually focus on closer sounds but always try and keep your focus on that certain distance, this can be tricky when you're listening for distant sounds if there is immediate noise but try to block it out.

Focus on sounds closer and closer until eventually you're listening to only your own breathing as the closest possible sound and stay like this for a few minutes.

In all you can spend as long as you need doing this and spend however long you feel necessary on each sound and distance. I find 10 minutes is usually enough time.

Breathing slowly and focusing on the sounds around you should help to clear your mind and focus on the tasks in hand after.  I always find this successful in helping me calm down and I hope you do too and I've used it in various ways for numerous circumstances; it's particularly useful before an exam or job interview.

Vicky x

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