Do you sometimes find yourself overwhelmed with anxiety? As a therapist based in Jacksonville, FL, I often work with individuals who experience anxiety in their day-to-day lives. Having personally grappled with anxiety, I understand how debilitating it can be. That's why I'm eager to share two simple, effective breathing exercises to help manage your anxiety.
Before we dive into the exercises, let's understand why breathing plays a crucial role in managing anxiety.
How Breathing Helps Reduce Anxiety
When we experience anxiety, we often experience shallow breathing as a result of our bodies naturally responding to the event that triggered the anxiety. By consciously slowing down our breathing, we encourage our bodies to shift out of this high-stress state and into a more relaxed one. Breathing exercises are practical, always-accessible tools we can use to help reduce anxiety.
Two Breathing Exercises from a Local Therapist in Jacksonville, FL
1. The "Let Go" Breathing Exercise
Let-Go Breathing provides a mental mantra that aligns with your inhalations and exhalations. This exercise is focused on shifting your mindset away from the anxiety-triggering situation at hand and into the present moment. To begin:
Find a quiet, comfortable place where you won't be disturbed.
Identify what you are feeling anxious about.
Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath in, mentally saying the word "let."
As you exhale, mentally say the word "go."
Imagine each inhale is an acknowledgment of the anxiety and each exhale firmly shoving the anxiety away from your body and mind.
Continue this cycle for a few minutes, focusing on the rhythm of your breath and the calming repetition of your mantra.
2. The "Stress Shatter" Exercise
The second technique is called the "Stress Shatter" Visualization. This technique combines focused breathing with the power of guided imagery to manage anxiety. The "Stress Shatter" Visualization is particularly powerful because it helps individuals understand that they can exert control over their anxiety. It shows that it's possible to reduce the intensity of anxiety through focused breathing and visualization. Here's how to do it:
Begin by identifying where in your body you feel your anxiety.
After finding its location, give this feeling a shape or color in your mind.
Take a deep breath and imagine this breath flowing to the place in your body where your anxiety resides.
As you exhale, visualize your anxiety breaking up, changing shape, or reducing in intensity.
Continue these steps until your visual representation of anxiety diminishes or disappears.
When to Use Breathing Exercises
You can use these exercises any time you feel anxiety creeping in, whether it's before a big presentation, during stressful moments at work, or in the middle of a sleepless night. Remember, the goal of these breathing exercises isn't to eradicate anxiety completely, but rather to learn how to manage it better. Working with a therapist in Jacksonville, FL, can assist you in permanently reducing your overall symptoms of anxiety.
Learn More from A Therapist in Jacksonville, FL Today
If you are struggling with anxiety and are interested in learning more about how working with a therapist in Jacksonville, FL could help, Philosophie Therapy offers free, 15-minute phone consultations with a licensed therapist. During this phone call, the therapist will answer any and all questions you may have about the process of therapy and give you information on how you can book your first therapy session.