Today I had an appointment with the nurse for my quarterly B12 injection. I have been having these injections since I was diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia last year, so it is not a new thing.
Yet, for some reason, unbeknown to me, every time I am en-route to a B12 appointment I start to physically feel a little anxious, even if I haven’t had any obvious anxiety inducing or negative thoughts. My mind thinks there is danger ahead. The reason I know this is that my breathing changes. My breathe becomes a little shorter and I become very aware of it. This used to trigger all the other symptoms. Not anymore.
I now appreciate this warning and act upon it immediately.
As I am aware of this it means I can also prevent other anxiety symptoms manifesting.
How do I do this?
I pull out Tool #2 Breathe and I consciously change my breathing.
When we consciously change our breathing pattern we stimulate the body parasympathetic system… which is ultimately the system that helps calm us down.
When I become focused on my breathing, it is also impossible for my mind to simultaneously worry about the past or deliberate about the future, other symptoms of anxiety also back off.
Basically, the change in breathing tells the brain to call off the emergency! The more I use this tool for the false alarms the less frequent they will become… the brain is clever like that!
There are several different breathing exercises you can try; this is the one that works best for me:
Breathe in for 5. Breathe Out for 10.
Try it now.
- Make sure your feet are on the ground.
- Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth
- Take a deep breath in and count to 5
- …and as you exhale count to 10
It does not matter how quickly you count or for how long you do this exercise, simply repeat this until you feel calmer.
The Top 3 Reasons I love this tool.
- This Tool works every time to help calm the nerves
- This Tool acts as an anchor and helps me connect with the ‘right here right now’ moment.
- This Tool is FREE and available to me AT ALL TIMES
…but I don’t just use this tool in moments of need or when heading for a B12 injection. This is a great tool to use pro-actively.
When you open your eyes in the morning start the day with a minute of mindful breathing. Start your day on a calm note.
In the evening use this tool to help you switch off, as you focus on your breathe you may drift off to sleep more easily.
There are many reasons why activities such as Yoga, Pilates, Running, Swimming, Guided Meditations are good for you, one of the key reasons is that they all require you to focus on your breathing which is ultimately good for your body and mind.
Just Breathe x