Rather than watching T.V for hours on end, constantly checking social media…whatever it is that you want to do now, challenge yourself to not do it. Instead, ask yourself what are some things you can you do and get lost in doing? These are different for everyone, some people; cook, bake, lift weights, run, write, draw, read, grow or tend to plants, listen to music, play an instrument, paint, study, DIY. It helps to make a written list of what you already know makes you feel worse and then make a list of things to try to get busy at. When you write these down, ideas will come to you sooner and you will also have a plan that you can follow.
The maxim of “there is nothing to fear but fear itself” is nonsense. It is better for us to not be afraid of our negative emotions. Telling yourself not to feel a certain way or denying your feelings only puts extra pressure on you. Coping statements which have been shown to help chronic pain sufferers endure pain can be used as a way of overcoming the physiological effects of emotions:
- I have done this before, and I can do it again
- These are just feelings, they will go away when I’m busy
- I may not feel like doing this now, but if I cope and carry on then I will feel better
- I don’t need to rush, I can take things slowly
- I’m stronger than I think
- What do I need to do right now?
- I don’t need to eliminate stress, just keep it under control
Nasal Diaphragmatic Breathing And Buteyko Breathing
The way we breathe can either aggravate our calm our emotions. Fast upper chest mouth breathing is associated with the fight, freeze or flight response. We don’t need this kind of reaction when we are sitting at home in our kitchen. Nasal diaphragmatic breathing or Buteyko Breathing for anxiety is used to calm panic attack sufferers and will work for you too:
- Sit upright or lie down on the floor, get comfortable.
- Close your mouth, breathe in and out through your nose. Do not be concerned if your nose is blocked, it will become clearer as you use it.
- Put one hand on your belly. Notice it rising as you breathe in and falling as you breathe out. Place the other hand on your chest, try to keep this hand from moving.
- Just focus on feeling the rising of your belly as you breathe in, and the falling of your belly as you breathe out. Do this for a while.
- When you are ready, after you breathe out, hold your breath for 3 seconds, count it: 1, 2, 3 then breath in. Calmly breathe out and count again 1,2,3. Repeat this breathing pattern of holding your breath after you breathe out for at least a few minutes or until you feel at ease.