A few days ago, I noticed a Web article that claimed a good dose of stress and anxiety to be a healthy and even a necessary component of a healthy existence. Yes, we all experience some anxiety here and there. But without relaxation, daily anxiety can easily turn into anxiety attacks.

Speaking from past and very personal experiences, anxiety attacks are almost always accompanied by increased heartbeat, numb fingers and toes, accelerated breathing (hello anxiety-powered diaphragm!), sweating and a sense of derealization. The mind searches for danger and has trouble concentrating. And when the mind can’t find identifiable stressors to rationalize anxiety, it (anxiety) turns inward and makes us feel crazy and absolutely helpless. That’s why it is quite challenging to reverse an active anxiety/panic attack while it happens.

People who suffer from anxiety/panic attacks are often ashamed to talk about their experiences. Hence so many Americans rely on Prozac and Paxil – the magic pills that claim to be the only way back into anxiety-free bliss. I won’t deny the many short-term benefits of these drugs, yet no pill can cure the true source of one’s anxiety in a long run.

There IS a better way. A regular and meaningful yoga practice is a good place to start. Create a safe place within your spiritual being and acknowledge that the road to recovery will involve exploration and healing of old wounds, some of which you are not even aware of.

Practice conscious breathing such as Yoga Tune Up® Belly Breathing as demonstrated here (and find further techniques for stress relief):

This style of belly breathing is a useful daily practice, as well as at the onset of an anxiety attack. This technique down regulates the nervous system and combats stress.

Breathe in and out to a healthy, anxiety-free life. Namaste.

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