I know that many of us are suffering from great anxiety and outright anxiety attacks right now. I want to share with you a breathing technique that has helped me greatly during times of crisis and panic.
When we are in panic oxygen doesn’t get to our brain as well due to not breathing properly. When in panic or high anxiety our limbic brain, a more primitive part of our brain takes over that is used for fight or flight. This often leads to irrational outbursts and not have clear thinking, because the thinking parts of our brain are not getting oxygen.
Here is a way to get oxygen to the brain and to slow down the anxiety fight or flight response, so you can remain more calm and rational. This breathing helping with better problem solving and less suffering from the anxiety response.
EASY STEPS to 5/5/5 Breathing:
1) First, Hold up your hand, become aware of your five fingers.
2) Second, starting with your thumb, BREATH IN for the count of five, then HOLD BREATH for the count of five, then RELEASE BREATH SLOWLY to the count of five.
3) Do this with all FIVE FINGERS with mindful awareness of your breath.
BREATH IN for the count of five, then HOLD BREATH for the count of five, then RELEASE BREATH SLOWLY to the count of five.
The 5/5/5/ breathing technique is simple. This increases oxygen to your brain, which will calm you and make it easier to have more rational thought and not go into a fight or flight panic response that can lead to panic attacks and irrational outbursts.
Repeat 5/5/5 breathing by turning it into a Gratitude Meditation if you want to.
Here is how:
If you want to, after you slow down your brain with oxygen, you can repeat 5/5/5 and go into a meditative thoughtful state. I do this by “brain stopping” any offending thoughts. This is when you replace anxiety-provoking thoughts with thoughts of gratitude.
With each finger, you breathe 5/5/5, as explained above, but this time while breathing replace your anxiety-provoking thoughts with any form of gratitude. Each finger now representing a new thought of gratitude for the 5/5/5 breathing sequence.
From my experience with surviving many times of crises an attitude of gratitude helps even the bleakest times in turning around dark thoughts.
About me: As some of you know I have suffered horrible things with being assigned wrong at birth, child abuse, being psychically mutilated, medically violated, surviving hate crimes, and living with the disease of alcoholism and addiction in my home.
Yes, I sadly know the stress and anxiety attacks. This is one technique that has always worked for me in calming me down and I hope the 5/5/5 breathing technique becomes a gift to you too today.
I wish you well during this time of dealing with COVID 19.
Remember Stay Home, Stay Safe, Wash Hands, Wear a Mask when out and about, and when you come home to take a shower and change your clothes.
Much love to all of us during these tragic times.