Anxiety Coping Skills: Finding Mindfulness in 3 breaths
It seems like everyone is looking for anxiety coping skills and there have been so many articles on mindfulness lately, including this one from Forbes.
While it seems to be “all the rage” right now, what does it mean for you and me? I’ve heard we “should” meditate 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening – do I have to?! I have not been able to cultivate that kind of a practice and find, in my own life, as well as from many teachers I look up to that there are much simpler ways to practice mindfulness.
Today I want to teach you one of the simplest ways I can think of.For over 20 years, I’ve been researching anxiety coping skills and I have learned about a gazillion different breath techniques (and will be sharing them in other posts) — this one is one of the first breath techniques I leaned (with a little tweak of my own!)
Anxiety Coping Skills Case Study
True story about this 3 part breath: I learned it from my mentor, my favorite yoga teacher, on a Thursday morning. At 12noon that day, I had a session scheduled with a young adult who has suffered with Tourette syndrome his entire life. His mother had contacted me and while I explained that I do not diagnose, treat or cure anything, I could certainly meet with her son and teach him coping and mindfulness techniques. I had let the man in the office next door know that he was coming, so when he heard yelling, he would know I was ok.
The young man arrived at my office, I was instantly stuck with the thought “it’s all about the breath!” I guided him through this 3 part breath process (that I had JUST learned!) and to both our astonishment – he was able to be calm and not yell for several minutes at a time! Sadly for the young man, it was too much, too soon and he did not continue to work with me. (I liken it to a deaf person hearing for the first time in the middle of Times Square)
I have gone on to use this 3 part breath for myself and many, many clients since then and find that it is so simple, it may seem to be too simple! Experience the power of healing for yourself. This simple technique can help you feel calmer, reduce stress, get rid of anxiety, sleep better, and much more! I urge you to give this a try, play with it and practice it for the next 7 days (you can do anything for 7 days, right?), then comment below and let me know how well it works for you!
THE THREE PART BREATH TECHNIQUE: (One of my favorite anxiety coping skills)
Imagine a beautiful pool of cool, healing energy at your feet – whatever color appears is fine. Imagine that you can breathe this in through your feet upwards in a 3 part breath.
Imagine taking a third of a breath through your feet, just up to your knees and pause.
Take another third of a breath up to your belly, and pause.
Take that final third of a breath up to the top of your head and pause. Hold it for a moment, then a big exhale, washing away that which no longer serves you.
Repeat 3 times or as many times as you like, until you get back to a comfortable state.
I would love to hear how well this and other anxiety coping skills work for you.
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