It’s All in the Exhale

Do you struggle with a fast beating heart, butterflies in your stomach and/or shallow breathing?  These are all signs of anxiety that can overtake people and take on a life of it’s own.

You have probably tried all sorts of things to stop these symptoms.  There is one simple technique, however, that is showing promising results:

It’s all in the EXHALE.

Physiologically, we energize our nervous system on the inhale, and relax our nervous system on the exhale.  People who are anxious tend to take quick inhales, and very shallow exhales.  This is like holding our finger on the “on” button of our nervous system.  So how to turn it off?

It’s all in the EXHALE.

Yes, really.  A physiological way to slow your beating heart, relax your stomach, and open your breath, is to SLOWLY exhale.  You want your exhale to take longer than your inhale.

One way of helping this along is to use a soothing phrase, such as “I am relaxing,   calming, soothing.”  Or “I am falling into peace and tranquility.”  On the inhale, say “I am”, and on the exhale, say the rest of the phrase, which takes longer and will extend your exhale.

If you don’t like using a phrase, you can count instead – for example, count to four on the inhale, and count to five on the exhale.  Over time see if you can extend your exhale to the count of eight.

Give this a try next time you have anxious feelings, and notice if your body calms down.  It most likely will since our breath is connected to our nervous system.

Like I said, it’s all in the EXHALE.

Until next time…..

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