In the Flow with Healing Waters
Help your anxiety with your breath
Let’s continue to talk and understand anxiety…
Anxiety shows up when we worry, ruminate over the same thoughts, or live in fear of what COULD happen. When we worry, we typically worry about the future. What is going to happen to our kids, work, health, and so on. Or we are upset by what happened in the past. Why did that thing happen to me? Why was that person angry with me? Did I say something wrong?
Remember in the previous blog mind/body connection? Anxiety comes from the mind and then we feel it in our bodies. We think of something that is a worry, then we can get symptoms like stomach aches or headaches. We think of something that happened a long time ago that was difficult or traumatic, and we can feel the same symptoms in our bodies that we did that initial time. Anxiety comes from the mind.
A lot of times we distract our minds with activities, and if you have ever done that, it will work. However, we typically will feel anxiety again when we get tired and have to sit down and ultimately sit with our thoughts. What do you do with your thoughts? A lot of us will talk about our thoughts or write/journal about it in order to get them out. That too will work, but there is even a simpler way….. “Get out of your mind.”
Getting out of your mind is easier than you may “think”. I use “think” because our minds want to understand HOW we get out of the mind. Our minds want to get into everything! It wants to know everything.
The easiest way of getting out of your mind is by taking the attention from your mind and putting it in your body. Attention is what we use to fuel the mind and our thoughts. Attention is what we use to put into those activities that we do that can decrease anxiety. If we take that attention and put it in our bodies, the mind relaxes. Think about last time you took a walk when you were stressed. After the walk, I bet your mind felt more relaxed and clear. Or last time you took a yoga class, or worked out at the gym. All those activities are putting attention into your body. So then the mind naturally relaxes and stress and anxiety calm down.
You don’t have to walk or do yoga or need a gym membership to achieve this state. All you need is your breath. And guess what…everyone breathes. Not everyone breathes well and people who suffer from anxiety probably don’t breathe very well.
When I first learned more about breathing, I asked “ Aren’t I supposed to breathe into my chest?” That was one reason I had anxiety. I was not breathing well.
When we breathe air, it comes into our nostrils and goes all the way down into your belly below your belly button. Think of when a baby is born…babies belly breathe. That is where we are supposed to breathe into.
The first step to breathing right is to relax your belly and just notice the tension held in your belly. Then feel your breath. Feel the rise and fall of your breath. Keep your attention with your breath. Not your “mind” attention, but your “feeling” attention. You can’t “think” your way to relaxing your belly. It has to be feeling attention.
When the belly relaxes and breath finds that rise and fall rhythm, the mind naturally will relax.
However, the mind has been in charge for a long time. It doesn’t really like giving up control. So the mind will fight. It will distract you, will tell you this is not working, this is a waste of time, tell you to go do something else.….That is what our minds do. So knowing this and staying with the feeling of your breath is how anxiety is decreased. Doing this practice 5-10 minutes a day will start creating change in your life.
What I am describing is how meditation is taught at Healing Waters. This is the easiest and most profound form of meditation. If interested in joining my class see the link below. But you now have the basics and just start feeling your breath and not allowing anxiety to control your life.
-In the Flow
Written by Susan Schultz, AcuEnergetics® meditation teacher at Healing Waters Health Center, Stillwater, MN