About six months ago I learnt I’d been breathing wrong – that the deep breathes I’d been taking to try to calm myself and my anxiety weren’t as effective as they could be. These moments make my head spin – I’ve been to so many counsellors, doctors and psychologists and not once did any of them ask me how I was breathing.
I cannot tell you how disheartening it is to rally the courage to seek mental health help and not be given such simple and useful tools as correct breathing methods. I learn’t about correct breathing at a business network meeting! I’m still a huge advocate for mental health and working with mental health professionals – and I guess they can’t cover everything – but I really wish someone had covered this for me five or ten years ago.,,
Nothing irritates me more than someone telling you to ‘calm down and take a deep breath’, especially when you’re experiencing anxiety and it’s got that condescending tone laced through it. No wonder I’d respond ‘I am and it isn’t helping’…because it really wasn’t.
I’ve been teaching myself how to breathe – how to flood my inner self with oxygen. I’m hoping to keep practicing until my body starts to shift and breathing from my diaphragm becomes my default – my body’s breath of choice.
Oh and if you’d like to start practicing too I highly recommend a breathing app called BreathingZone – I’ve been using it every day for awhile now and it’s brilliant.
[Art by huebucket]