Why does taking a deep breath help anxiety? 70% of adults say they experience anxiety daily. For 30%, the anxiety is constant. But what to do? There’s an easy answer; calm down and breathe, then use your mental health boosters. You’ve heard about breathing before, right?

Stress triggers anxiety

When our bodies process anxiety, it triggers the flight or fight response, releasing a surge of adrenaline. This worked well to protect our ancestors from dinosaur attacks and is still useful today in emergencies. All too often, our bodies are geared up to fight emergencies that never happen. In his book, Retraining the Brain, Dr. Frank Lawlis explains,

“Here’s what’s going on in the anxiety-filled brain: Fears and stress trigger an anxiety storm in your brain – which in turn creates chaos that your brain tries to resolve, but can’t. Instead, it just lingers there, endlessly spinning with surges of raw shocks. In psychological terms, that means you’re in a chronic (which means constant) state of anxiety.”

When trouble hits, your adrenal glands leap into action, flooding your body with hormones. Your heart beats faster and your breathing kicks into high gear. If you come from a home where there was abuse, your muscles brace for the anticipated hit, and your pupils lock-in on the target. This is your body’s conditioned response to stress.

Taking a deep breath and then another turns your body around

When you body can’t keep up with your fears, Dr. Lawlis’s circle breathing offers a one-minute fix that can turn your body around.

All too often the idea of pausing for a minute here and another minute there is lovely but impractical. This mini mind break will calm you in every way. Enjoy.

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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass became a recovery advocate and co-founder of Reach Out Recovery in 2011, encouraged by her daughter Lindsey who had struggled with substances as a teen and young adult. Learning how to manage the family disease of addiction with no roadmap to follow inspired the mother and daughter to create Reach Out Recovery's website to help others experiencing the same life-threatening problems. Together they produced the the 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World of Recovery, and the teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, distributed by American Public Television. In her career, Leslie has worked in advertising, publishing, and magazines as a writer of both fiction and non fiction. She is the author of 9 bestselling crime novels, featuring NYPD Dt.Sgt. April Woo. Leslie has has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and as a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation. For from 1990 to 2017, Leslie was the Trustee of the Leslie Glass Foundation. Leslie is a proud member of Rotary International.

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