Today I’m going to reveal a simple technique you can use anywhere at any time, to help reduce anxiety or worry, especially during those stressful or panic situations.
As an added bonus, it can help you sleep as well, when you’re laying in bed and can’t stop your brain from thinking – which is how I discovered it and use it.
Smoking & Relaxing
Years ago, I had a friend who was really high-strung. She was always worrying about everything. She would complain about having anxious feelings all the time.
And trying to talk with her, rationalize things, etc. just didn’t work. Her anxiety was very emotionally driven – probably a combination of hormones and neurotransmitters.
However, there were a few moments in the day when she did relax and it always happened when she’d take a smoking break.
Yup – she’d go outside, light up a cigarette, and you can quickly see her mood change. She would even say, “I wish I could stop smoking, but this really helps me cope with my anxious feelings, it relaxes me”.
Ironically, the truth is that the substances in a cigarette, such as tobacco, are stimulants. They increase your heart rate. Thus, increasing adrenaline and stress hormones.
However, there is one clear benefit of smoking that does help you relax and reduce your anxious feelings and that’s the DEEP BREATHING a smoker does.
It’s probably one of the few times in the day that my friend just stopped whatever she was doing, sat back, and breathed deeply while smoking her cigarette.
Of course, I’m not telling you to smoke, but I am telling you to take a 2-minute break in the day, any time you have some worry or anxious feelings, and take some deep breaths.
There is a simple breathing technique that can quickly help ease your anxious feelings in minutes. It’s called the 4-7-8 method.
However, before I tell you how to do it, I first need to tell you how to breathe correctly.
Sure, we all know how to breathe, but most of us are shallow breathers.
And when you have anxious feelings or worry, your breathing becomes quicker and shallower, making things worse.
And the first thing you want to do is learn how to breathe through your stomach. It’s called Belly Breathing.
When you take a deep breath, try to make your belly grow and not your chest.
Meaning, just take a deep breath now and try to expand and grow your belly. Don’t puff out your chest.
Your chest may raise a little bit, because of the expansion of your belly. But the focus is on your stomach and not your chest.
4-7-8 Method For Anxiety
Okay, so now that you know the proper way to breathe through your belly, you’re ready to utilize the 4-7-8 method.
It’s really very simple.
- Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds.
- Repeat 2-5x.
And one of the reasons you feel more relaxed is because of the improvements in your hormones and brain chemicals, caused by this slower, breathing pattern.
I’ve got more information about improving anxiety, worry, and your overall mood, with a few important resources, links, and articles. Make sure you check them out right now while it’s fresh on your mind.
And make sure you practice belly breathing at least once or twice daily, especially when driving in traffic and also before bed to help you sleep.