The Joy of Breathing

If there is anything I can fully vouch for is the use of breathing techniques to quell anxiety. It is not just for person’s suffering with anxiety but also for those nervous moments, those nights you take too long to fall asleep, or that moment of anger. Breathe!

Have you ever had one of those moments when your mind starts drifting and you only realize that you have put yourself into a trance when your chest starts clamming up? Or in that moment of anger or sadness, you take close to 2 minutes to realize that you have stopped breathing. Whenever I am in these situations I always try to stop and breathe.

I learnt this technique from my first Yoga class years ago. We, humans, usually breathe using our upper chest, it is a shallow and a less calming way to breathe. The trick is to breathe from your diaphragm. Follow these instructions-

  • ┬áBreathe in through your nostrils, counting slowly for at least 4 counts. As you breathe in feel your stomach expand as you allow the air to fill your entire body.
  • Hold the breath for 2 counts
  • Slowly breathe out for no less than 4 counts through your mouth. As you exhale feel your stomach slowly contract, as though you are pushing all of the air back out.

Tip: Breathe in and out for 8 breathes for falling asleep

Ta-da! With those few steps I have not just taught you on how to breathe but how to meditate. There are two ways to calm yourself using this technique. First, focus only on counting the breaths to clear your mind. Focusing on counting distracts you from whatever was clouding your mind. Secondly, you can imagine ‘good vibes’ entering your body as you breathe in and the ‘bad vibes’ leaving as you breathe out. The second way personally helps me when I start doubting myself or someone pissed me off. In those times of anger, breathing gives you time to rethink your stance on your situation and consider if the emotion is warranted. Most time you will realize that it isn’t.

Next time you start to feel overwhelmed, breathe. You may just find yourself doing it every hour of the day but that beats allowing those negative emotions to run free.

Ps: For my next blog I have started an experiment to sting myself with a rubber band for every negative thought. Lol, we will see how that goes!


Anxiety and Me

Have you ever had one of those moments where your heart seemed to race and stop all at the same time? Or your mind is going down hundreds of rabbit holes, all the while thinking that you are frustrated because you cannot make it stop? If you have, “by golly we are in the same club”, if not, count yourself lucky!

I did not always suffer with this mind crippling habit (a habit, because I am determined to change it), I was once a happy go lucky, confident person. Do not get me wrong, I had my nervous moments before an exam or performance but nothing to what it is now. That overwhelming pressure to be perfect, or some resemblance to perfect.

In my realm, anxiety is seen as being an over dramatic person. You are constantly being told “Just calm down”. Like no shit Sherlock, I never considered that brilliant idea! When your mind is racing at triple speed, thinking about all the different outcomes of one situation, whilst telling yourself you are being ridiculous for stressing, it is extremely difficult to ‘just relax’. To be honest, one of my major contributors to my anxiety is control. I have an enormous problem with letting things go. If I have some thought of how I can fix or alter the situation, I become obsessed. I also always need answers, and usually confirmation from the other person. I know that in life you sometimes just have to let things be, but sometimes you have to fix things. The big question is deciphering when to let go and when to fight.

I have tried many ways to calm my thoughts. Meditation, exercise, reading, sewing, you name it….I tried it. My brain though somehow is that Arrancar (Really strong spirit from Bleach Manga) that fights its way back in and sucks out the happiness that I tried to force in. I can’t allow it to win anymore though. This blog is another attempt to solve the issue. Perhaps sharing with others my attempts and they about their situations, can be a source of support and encouragement.

Fighting anxiety is the first attempt at finding myself.

How do you fight anxiety?

‘Let’s start at the very beginning’

“A very good place to start”

Firstly, WELCOME TO MY BLOG! Journey to me, a bit cliche I know but at 28, underemployed,single and anxiety stricken; I think this is a good place to start. This blog is not only to help myself but to help others who struggle through similar life struggles and need that reassurance that they are not alone.

As said, I am 28, underemployed, single, childless and anxiety stricken. I have many moments where I reflect on my situation and find it extremely difficult to find the joy. This is not where I wanted to be, this is not who I wanted to be. My younger self exuded confidence and adventure whilst the present me gets paralyzed by fear of the unknown. However the little me is still in there screaming “Get off your arse and fix you!”, ushering in my self designated task to “Find myself”. To find myself in an unstable economy; an unfulfilling job; a small island country. A daunting task, but never an impossible task!

Over the next few…..however long it takes, I will post a blog fortnightly sharing my journey to self love. I will share my lessons on meditation, exercise, outdoor activities and other random things that I tried to accomplish this task. You my reader are in for a hell of a ride!

ps: I hope you know where my title came from! One of my favourite things.

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