Finances and debt can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety. Being a sufferer of General Anxiety Disorder I used to get anxiety and panic attacks for no reason at all (so it seems) so when money stress was added to it it was unbearable. Because of this I have done a lot of research on the subject to find relief (besides the wonderful meds) and have found that proper breathing can help quite a bit. I originally wrote this for a niche site, but since it has been delisted I thought Id share it here as well
That’s easy you say, Ive been doing it my whole life. Well did you know most adults are doing it incorrectly? baby’s do it much better then we do. At birth we are of course breathing correctly by instinct but some how as we get older are habits change and we stop doing it properly.Sit up and take a deep breath right now. Like most people, you most likely heaved out your chest and raised your shoulders a little. You probably don’t see anything wrong with using your chest to breathe, since, that’s where your lungs are. But the muscle you’re supposed to use to breathe, your diaphragm, is under your lungs and nearer to your belly.
A lot of people are chest breathers. They normally use a shallow form of respiration that makes use of only the top part of the lungs. Actually though, most of the blood vessels that consume oxygen are in the bottom half. So much of the lung is going to waste,resulting in less oxygen. This leads to breathing more rapidly than nature intended us to. Breathing this way also tends to lead to headaches, fatigue, anxiety and even panic attacks because of improper blood oxygen/carbon dioxide balance.
Doing it Properly
Correct breathing called abdominal breathing or belly breathing, strengthens and makes full use of our diaphragms. Luckily, you can train your body to go back to breathing properly, and over time, you will be breathing properly with out even noticing. To practice it take some time out sitting up or laying down. Inhale slowly through your nose, trying to “inflate” your stomach as you breathe in while keeping your chest relatively still. Place your hands on your belly and feel it rise as you breath in. Then exhale slowly while contracting your abdominal muscles. Do this 10-20 times or longer, counting as you do. Not only will this give you more oxygen per breath, it will eventually strengthen the diaphragm. allowing you get more oxygen with each breath. This stops diverting any oxygen away from your muscles, meaning that you get tired less easily.
Hey do this everyday for about 10-20 mins and guess what, you have also been practicing a relaxation technique called deep breathing. Studies have shown with a daily practice of deep relaxation techniques can lead to overall relaxation throughout your day which decreases stress and muscle tension.
A study on cardiac patients showed that this type of breathing leads to improved exercise performance and decreased shortness of breath, allowing you to workout longer and more effectively.
So next time you are feeling stressed out just stop, sit down and breath deeply. 10-20 deep breaths while telling yourself its all ok. You’ll feel better for it!
Do you practice relaxation techniques? What kinds?