I know, I know, YAWN. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times over that we should just “breathe” when anxiety gets to be too much.
Well ladies and ladies, there’s a scientific reason why taking deep breaths can work wonders on calming down any anxiety you’re feeling.
First, a little background on the ‘ole brain during an anxiety attack.
Our brain’s first and most important job is to Keep. Us. Safe. Basically, any time our brains think we’re under attack (even if it’s just an emotional attack), it immediately sends chemicals and warning signs all over our bodies basically in preparation for said attack.
This means that our legs will get extra endorphins to run faster and our brain is laser focused and clear. This all happens within a couple of seconds so what happens physiologically is that this can be interpreted as the whole “flight or fight” scenario you’ve also heard about a million times. Our hearts beat faster, our breath shortens in anticipation of it needing to reserve resources for the possible upcoming fight and flight, we may feel cramps in our legs or arms, chest pains can be common too as your body is speeding up to get the hell out of dodge.
So, this labored, stressed breathing means that our brains aren’t getting all the oxygen it needs right now (which seems counter-intuitive right?) so our brain is also panicking if you will.
Now all of this is purposeful but most of the time, it’s totally overkill as we’re not fighting off a saber tooth tiger or an attacker usually (hopefully never!)
This is where the breathing comes in.
Taking some deep breaths during this anxiety/panic/stress attack sends a message to your brain to CALM THE FUCK DOWN.
Try the 10/10/10 method…
- Breathe deeply for 10 seconds through your nose
- Release through your mouth for 10 seconds
- Repeat 10 times
This method sends receptors to your body that say it’s okay, it’s going to be fine, get a grip. This will then slow your heart rate back to normal and help the chemicals dissipate so you can get back to normal.
So, taking 10-20 deep breaths when you’re losing your shit can be so beneficial and calming.
Next time you’re freaking out, try it and see how much better you feel in a short amount of time. Breathing is something in your toolbox that you can do anywhere and anytime.
Try it and let us know what you think! Remember anxiety too is purposeful which we’ll get into with our next blog post so stay tuned. In the meantime, need some extra support and direction in managing your anxiety? We got you! Click here to schedule online now.