SELF-CARE: An Anti-Anxiety Breathing Technique

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There was a period this semester when I was not able to sleep until 5 or 6 in the morning due to stress and anxiety that I was facing at school. When I finally did get some sleep, it wasn’t enough either. So, I decided to seek student counseling services after realizing how serious of an issue it was and made an appointment with a therapist.

(In the future, I hope to write a blog post on the importance of taking care of your mental health and seeking support services when you need it.)

Oftentimes, it takes about 4-6 sessions before a school therapist can give any student concrete solutions for their personal health concerns because the therapist needs time to better understand the student’s background. Unfortunately for me, I only had enough time to attend 1 session because the semester was almost ending.

However, I did get to learn a breathing technique that I’d like to share with those who are interested. The technique is not a big of a deal, but I’d highly suggest everyone with sleep problems to try it out. When I started using it, I began to sleep much earlier than before.

  1. Make sure that you’re lying down, getting ready to sleep.
  2. Close your eyes. Pace your breathing.
  3. Imagine a container, any kind of container. Really focus on the details of this container for as long as you can. It’ll take you at least a minute to do so. What does it look on the outside? And the inside? What types of materials is it made of? How heavy or light is it? While you’re considering the small details, make sure that you’re taking your time doing so. 
  4. Then, imagine that your worries are bunched up and have taken some form of physical manifestation. Again, take your time picturing yourself bringing your worries to your mental container to store them.
  5. Once you’ve done that, close your container and put a lock on it. By then, you should be caught up in a mental state of “flow” – or at least that’s what I’d call it – in which you’re no longer actively thinking about anything that keeps you up at night.

I find this technique to be pretty effective but am still very curious as to whether it would work on you. If you’ve tried this technique, please share your experience with me in the section for comments below.

Good luck.

Jess.

 

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