December Survival Guide | 15 Dec 2018

December Survival Guide… TIP 15

Anxiety & Panic Attacks

Remember what we tried yesterday? The rectangular breathing technique. ?️

This is a fabulous technique for supporting and encouraging the halt of physical changes in the body when you are feeling stressed and anxious?.

Today I’d like you to add something to this technique.

First find a rectangle shape somewhere within your view.

Now, as you move from one corner to the next, inhaling and exhaling as described again below. I’d like you to insert numbers into your technique. ?

So beginning from the top left hand corner, counting as you slowly inhale and move to the top right hand corner. Hold for a moment, and then counting from the beginning again as you slowly exhale. Try to make you exhale longer than your inhale. Continue the routine of inhale, hold, exhale, moving around the rectangle. Ka more in depth description can be found in yesterday’s tip).

This is a great distraction technique for experiencing severe anxiety as you are doing three things to put YOU back in control, instead of that inner chimp. 1) You are slowing your breathing, which in turn slows your physical symptoms 2) You are distracting the mind by thinking about the rectangles you are looking for. 3) Using numbers helps to confuse our fight/flight mode and it takes a back seat.

If you practice this technique regularly during times when you feel calm, it will also work as an anchor, so your body automatically knows that this is something you do when you are calm.

There’s another technique that we can use specifically for children ?too:

Breathe in and feel your tummy growing bigger and bigger like a balloon?. You can even choose what colour the balloon could be and whether the balloon has a picture on it.

Then when you breathe out you can imagine the balloon? floating away and it takes any worries you have away with it ☺️

And then you do a really big, really long breath in again, maybe even bigger and slower than last time and this time you have a new balloon?, or maybe it’s the same as the last balloon, and you can see your tummy getting bigger and bigger and then when you breathe out, really long and slowly… That balloon? floats away too and this time it carries away anything you’re mad about and as it flies away, your tummy gets softer and you feel nicer and more relaxed…. And so on. Again if you ask the child to include numbers when they are breathing it adds another layer, making the technique even more useful.