HOW DO I RELIEVE STRESS AND ANXIETY?

Posted by Lisa Elsworth on

Three steps to stop anxiety taking you over

Mental Health Issues are on the rise and youngsters and teenagers are suffering to such an extent that statistics state that currently at least 1 in 5 young people now suffer from some form of mental illness, that’s a staggering 20% of the population. In the UK only 4% of the complete health care budget is actually spent on our mental health. No matter how young or old you are anxiety does not discriminate and can take over your life and happiness. Following some simple steps that you can learn in minutes but use at any time is a great tool to have on hand.

What to do if having an anxiety attack - If you or someone you know would like to overcome intense emotions like anxiety, fear, stress, anger and panic attacks, them follow these practical breathing techniques.


Below is a simple technique, which helps us focus on the present moment and relieve us from all intense and distressing emotions, especially anxiety. It is simple, but requires work and dedication to sustain it. It works by activating the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, to relive the anxiety and obliterate the thought process that keep us primed and locked. It can help you to intentionally change your inner states, and gain some mastery over them. The sympathetic nervous system is stimulated under stress, anxiety, fear and anger. It speeds up our heart rate, breathing and prevents digestion, keeping us tense, aroused and fearful. This also triggers negative feelings like anxiety or anger. Mindfulness activities such as ‘focused-breathing’ stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system - bringing down our arousal levels, breathing and heart rates. Allowing us to relax the muscles, overcome the sense of anxiety, slow down our thoughts and find a more restful state of being.

"Mindfulness is not a magic trick"

Mindfulness is it a complicated set of techniques mastered by experts. It is merely something, which requires some effort and practice, to develop in our everyday lives, not something you need to fret about. Let me give you an example:
Exercise

Step 1:
Close your eyes, and ask yourself this simple question 'what is happening to me now?' Did you find yourself for one single moment turn inward and experience a moment of stillness, listening to the stirrings of your body and mind, becoming aware of physical sensations and stimuli?
If yes, then you have already found a degree of mindfulness
If not, then try the practice below.

Step 2:
To begin with, relax. Hold a reasonably straight posture, sitting with your back upright, and your head gently resting with your chin pointing slightly outward.
Start by closing your eyes and breathing normally. Gently find your own rhythm and settle on that. As you inhale, allow your diaphragm to be fully extended into your belly, and up again. Do not breathe too fast, too slow, too deep or too shallow. Repeat this again and again, listening to the sound of your breath, or paying attention to the sensation of your breath, as it moves from nostrils to throat, to lungs to belly and back up through the mouth.

Step 3:
Continue inhaling and exhaling, while you turn your attention inward to the sensation of your breath. Stay with that awareness awhile (may be 5 minutes), as you inhale and exhale repeatedly. Do not invite any thoughts, or dismiss them begrudgingly. Gently allow your thoughts to bubble up to the surface of your mind, and disappear again without following them. As soon as you find yourself wandering or distracted, by trying to follow a train of thought, turn your attention back to the sensation of your breath and concentrate a little more, while remaining relaxed. You might find you struggle at first to maintain concentration, and not be distracted. You may even be tempted to give up as you struggle with the silence. Remain with it, and you should feel yourself begin to relax.

Once you’ve settled, continue breathing normally before choosing your moment of reflection. Then, in the gap between the in-breath and the out-breath ask yourself this, 'what is happening to me now?' Try to remain with your embodied experience, physical sensations and emotions, rather than your thoughts. This will keep you in the present moment, staying with sensations as they arise and pass.

For Future stress attacks
Repeat this every so often, and just notice without judgement or intolerance, what happens. Do not judge emotion or sensation as either good or bad, simply observe them. Allow yourself to experience your present state of being. Do not try to grasp it or hold onto it, just let it pass. Try to understand that nothing is permanent; that all things come to pass and change. Even intense emotions.

You really can regulate how you feel without needing to control it or avoid feelings. At first, this practice may feel a little disorienting, or you might find yourself getting tangled up with distracting thoughts. Don’t worry. In time, if you persevere and focus on your breathing, you will begin to allow wayward thoughts to pass and remain focussed on a unified sense of experience as you breathe - somewhere between reflection and bodily sensation. Do not expect any sense of euphoria or enlightenment; just enjoy the simple gift of time and space to be – having a moment to yourself without suffering.

Holistic counselling
What Can Holistic Counselling help with?

You may find your self dealing with many aspects of a personality and Holistic counselling can help with a large variety of issues, below are just some of the problems that you may find yourself dealing with.

• Anger Management
• Anxiety
• Addictions
• Assertive issues
• Communication problems
• Depression
• OCD
• Grief Bereavement
• Guilt and shame issues
• Personal Growth
• Relationship issues
• Self confidence
• Stress
• Sexual Abuse
• Spiritual direction

If you are interested in counselling or considering taking courses in counselling then the please take a look at - Holistic Counselling - NLP & Life coaching


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