Tool for overcoming Panic, Anxiety and Depression.
When new people come to our group they are quite hesitate, anxious, and down right scared of what they are going to be participating in. Is the room going to be full of a bunch of kooky people, will they know what I am going through? Do any of them have the same horrible feelings as I do? Am I going to have to talk? What if?…. What if?…..What if?…..
Most of us can relate to these feelings of “What have I got myself into”. I know for a fact the first time Debra came to group over 15 years ago (with a safe person) she thought it was the end of the road for her. Her next step would be an institute where they would throw away the key. She had reached rock bottom and was no longer able to cope. Well, we know she is thriving now!
It takes a lot of courage to come to your first meeting. We always say the most courageous people we have ever met were the people in the group and lots of them have become very dear friends of ours. As Nelson Mandela said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
One of our first defense tools we teach for recovery from anxiety disorders is relaxation through the use of breathing in a certain way. We use what is known as “Square Breathing”. Breathe in through your nose for a slow count of 4, getting the air to move your tummy outward, hold for a slow count of 4, and then release through slightly pursed lips for a count of 4. Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Wait for a count of 4 and repeat this at least 10 times. Try to do this 3 or 4 times a day and more if you are in a stressful situation. This can be done anywhere, driving in your car, waiting in a line up, or just relaxing on the couch.
Practicing this kind of breathing can serve two purposes.
#1. When we get anxious, remember your breathing, default to the breathing, and do the breathing, it will physically help our body to relax, loosening muscles, dropping the shoulders (when we are anxious our shoulders automatically rise in anticipation of fight or flight) and calming the mind.
#2. The second benefit of even thinking of deep breathing is that it will bring us back to the present moment. Most of us at different times let our minds think of the past problems or of the “What If”…about the future. Constantly being reminded to bring ourselves back to the present by breathing is a powerful tool. We are never without our breath. In the most stressful circumstances, we cannot neglect breathing, so in the midst of any activity, we can always pop back to paying attention to breath. The habit we create in remembering to breathe this way will allow for thoughtful approaches to live, learning to be proactive rather than reactive in situations. This helps us to enjoy the moment and enjoy the place we are at this moment in time. We will learn to be where we are….both in body and in mind.
We would love to get more groups going, I know we get a lot of hits on our website, our facebook page, and our ads in castanet, and statistically, there is a lot of us out there struggling every day with overwhelming panic and depression. Take that big step today and reach out to a group. We are so thankful we did.
Wishing You a Speedy Recovery,