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How to breathe: A simple way to lower anxiety in 5 easy steps.

how to breathe - lower anxiety - summit counselingAnxiety can come out of nowhere. One moment you feel fine and then you remember that one assignment, relationship, email you didn’t send and suddenly it’s there: fear. Your chest tightens. Your mind races towards worst case scenarios. You feel trapped, out of control, suffocated, and frozen in fear.

Anxiety is a powerful enemy that steals away our feelings of control.

One simple way to take back that control and manage that fear is mindfulness. Mindfulness therapy focuses on awareness and helps to bring us to the present and deal with difficult life situations. A simple mindfulness technique for anxiety is:

  1. Stop and step back. When you feel anxiety coming on, pause and visualize yourself taking a mental step back from your anxiety.
  2. Check in. Take a second to recognize where you are. Anxiety can take us far into the future or the past. Take a moment to see your present.
  3. Take a breath. Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Continue this breathing and allow it to get slower and deeper.
  4. Add some words. As the breathing gets more natural, tell yourself “I am” as you breathe in and “OK” as you breathe out. Continue this mantra as you feel your heart rate slowing down and your chest slowly getting more relaxed.
  5. Come back. Once you feel relaxed and in control, you can come back to your normal breath. Now you can visually step back into the situation that brought on the anxiety in a more calm and controlled state. You are in control, not anxiety!

This is just one simple tool, but there are many other ways to take power back from anxiety and fear.

If you or a loved one is struggling with issues related to anxiety, then we are here to help!

Please contact the Summit Counseling Center to make an appointment by calling 678-893-5300 or visiting our website www.summitcounseling.org

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