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.
Check out our stress relief solutions.
Overcome stress and anxiety – Read the article.
Watch our free stress relief video.
On est souvent trop rapides à recourir aux médicaments pour les troubles d’anxiété, médicaments qui ont de nombreux effets secondaires, et qui ne font qu’apaiser les symptômes de surface plutôt qu’aborder les véritables sources de l’anxiété. La respiration profonde et une pratique régulière du yoga et de méditation sont des outils naturels pour prendre en charge sa propre santé, se sentir en contrôle, et cultiver la sérénité en toute circonstance.
There’s some interesting research being done about the potential positive aspects of workplace anxiety at the Univeristy of Toronto. They break anxiety into two categories. One covers dispositional aspects, that is those that align with individual character traits. If someone already experiences high levels of general anxiety for example, their experiences with workplace anxiety will be different from those who don’t. The other covers situational aspects, those that arise in specific job tasks. Some employees may be more affected by job appraisals, public speaking or other tasks that can distract them and lead to poor performance. Some anxiety at work… Read more »
As a former dancer (told to tighten up and hold my belly in – always), I had the hardest time finding this breathe in my body when I started to deepen my yoga practice years ago. But now it’s my go-to for often stressed-out students, clients, and myself…I absolutely love the Belly Breathe! Especially the YTU way…and have had the pleasure of seeing it change a person dramatically in only a few minutes (from sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system). I have not experienced anxiety attacks personally, but can now confidently offer a tool for students of mine. Thank you.
Anxiety is really touching a lot of people and I think talking openly about it is an effective way to make the first step for some…
Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for making this breathing exercise relevant to life off the mat. This helps me to explain to people who are not yogis why I do what I do!
I wholeheartedly agree with yoga and yogic breathing as an alternative to medication for anxiety — and a great path to happiness and health even for those not medicated for their stress and anxiety. thanks!
I work with several clients with anxiety and the breathing is key and powerful to their ability to feel like they can manage the stress response and have tools through the breath to down regulate. Thanks for this post – it is a great article to point my students to when they need a reminder at home on how to practice the breathing.
Thank you! just what I needed today! I have travelled across the country to take a YTU level 1, ended up with a nasty flu cold etc and still hanging in there…this breathing exercise helped to reset my night to have a much better sleep and more calm out look on the training!