Emails. Voicemails. Texts. Twitter. Facebook. Everything we want to know is at our fingertips and it bombards our daily life. Sometimes we feel like we can’t even get a breath. Or at least a good breath. Many of us – maybe even most of us – walk around breathing so shallowly that we are fueling anxiety and panic as well as muscle tension, headaches, and fatigue.
I am talking to all of you who feel tense, overwhelmed and like there’s not enough time to get everything to slow down – even just a tiny bit. It wasn’t always this way and I don’t think we were really meant for all of this. I encourage you to just take five minutes…..Five Minutes….. and Breathe. No, probably not the way you usually breathe. I want you to be aware of every breath you take. Focus on your abdomen and feel it move in and out. Take a little longer to exhale than inhale. Count your breaths if you’d like. But just Breathe.
Erik Peper, a professor at San Francisco State University at The Institute for Holistic Health Studies and a pioneer in the field of biofeedback, calls breathing “the boundary between the conscious and the unconscious.”
He explains that the way we breathe affects our physical and mental health. Just five minutes of conscious breathing can make a world of difference in how we perceive our challenges and our ability to meet these challenges. Conscious breathing also gives us a little more space between us and the virtual noise around us and it can be quite a relief!
Oh, yes…and it wouldn’t hurt to step away from technology for a day here and there, too.
Andrea Greebon, MS, LPC, BCB
Andrea is a therapist at Three Oaks Counseling Group that specializes in anxiety and stress.
She sees clients at our West Lake Hills and Dripping Springs offices.