Stop worrying, start breathing
While waiting for the bus, I asked Ravi , “ you are looking pale, what’s the matter, is everything ok?” Ravi turned away from me and started staring in to emptiness. I could see his face all writ with worries.
Ravi my friend is like one of those many who worry for everything under the Sun with the drop of a hat. He worries for money, worries before entering the board room, worries before a corporate presentation. Worries after corporate presentation. It’s not all, Ravi worries for the future of the country. Worries about the economy, worries about fast sliding of Rupee and the list goes on and on. In a nutshell Ravi and his likes are well known as ‘Chronic Worriers.’
Anxiety is part of life. A little anxiety is good. It helps in motivating and driving towards our jobs. But too much of anxiety will corrode you and your plans will get topsy-turvy. Every human will be encountering with some kind of apprehensions before undertaking a job or during a job. That’s justified to some level. If your anxiety takes over you beyond the occasional apprehension, beware it may lead to alarming levels of panic attack. In this situation, you have to take adequate measures to curb your anxiety.Sometimes anxiety explodes in a panic attack, marked by a general feeling of terror. They are so frightening sufferers feel it is the end for them.
When it comes to anxiety, we should discuss about other forms of anxiety too. There is social anxiety. The victim feels always that someone is watching him. He feels that he’s being judged. This leads to extreme self consciousness in the victim. If this situation goes further , it can be debilitating.
The other form is generalized anxiety disorder. The victim of this disorder cannot take decision. His head will be always swarmed with innumerable, ‘What ifs’. Such people are so suffocated with ‘uncertainty’, they cannot move an inch further. Though this kind of disorder will not lead to panic disorders, still it can be incapacitating. Whatever may be the extent of damage caused by different varieties of anxiety, it’s always advisable to keep yourself away from Anxiety which is a silent killer.
Stop worrying. Count your breaths for a minute. Scientists say, all of us breathe, but we either over breathe or under breathe.. And the reason for our worries is due to abnormal breathing. if you have counted more than 16 breaths per minute, you are breathing faster than you should in normal conditions.
In breathing therapy patients are taught to learn to breathe at a rate of 6-10 times a minute. This is said to be the correct breathing rate that is capable of instilling confidence in you to bring down all your anxieties to a grinding halt.
Before anybody, it was ancient India that understood the importance of respiration. Patanjali’s all Yogsutras revolve around breathing. Now, the whole world is looking towards yoga and its Asanas or postures for a relief from a plethora of ailments.
Ancient healing quintessence Yoga calls breath as Prana, which means energy the force which controls the universe. With an aim to control this energy, Indian seers developed a series of exercises which form part of Yoga called Pranayama.
Yoga measures the man’s life by the number of breaths, not years. It all amounts to the fact that more the process of breathing is lengthened, the more healthier and ailment free a man would be. This belief is not restricted to India alone. various other Eastern religions also held the views about Prana. But western scientists refused to take the view until they learned how to measure the carbon dioxide in the blood stream. It was discovered that the blood’s carbon dioxide level drops sharply when a resting person breathes rapidly.
Breathing in a regulated way means, the average speed of inhalation and exhalation should not be more than 16.
Sit in a comfortable position. Place your right hand right below your chest, where your diaphragm is there and breathe normally. Observe if your diaphragm is moving up and down with your inhalation and exhalation. If your movement is not strong, then you have to learn to move it along with your breath. Observe if your chest moves more than your abdomen, chances are you are over breathing.
Here is an exercise. Sit in a comfortable position. Rest your chin on your chest and close your eyes. Place the thumb of your right hand on your right nostril and block the passage of air. Now place the ring finger on your left nostril. Now ensure both your index and middle finger are touching your forehead.
Breathe in slowly through your left nostril. While breathing see that no sound emerges out. Feel your diaphragm moving down. Shut the left nostril and hold your breath . Hold your breath as long as you can comfortably. Release your right nostril and exhale slowly while keeping your left nostril shut with your ring finger, Listen to your breath or better see the breath as your diaphragm moves up. Repeat this now switching over to the other nostril. In the beginning don’t overdo. Always see your ability and convenience. In no condition the exercise should be forced.
Now you have been introduced to the process of ‘Regulated breathing.’ One thing you should remember is the time for exhalation must be always longer than inhalation. A useful equation would be 6: 18 :12. Count 6 while inhaling. Hold breath for a count of 18. And count 12 while exhaling.
The most important factor you must remember is you should not be tensed up and breathing should not be heard even by the next person sitting by your side. Regulated breathing keeps the carbon dioxide levels in limits and will not allow irrational thoughts overwhelm you.
Pix : By the Author
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