Stop personalizing anxiety. I don’t recall how or if we talked about anxiety when I was younger but it seems the new trend is to personalize it. “My anxiety”. I hear this constantly now. Almost like it’s an earned accomplishment and it’s given all of this attention. Stop doing that. Stop talking about “your” anxiety because I have some good news…it’s lying to you.
I’m not a therapist but I’ve had enough anxiety in my lifetime to warrant some kind of honorary degree. Turns out, all of that anxiety was for naught and everything seemed to work out…or it didn’t. That’s the way it goes but the anxiety did nothing to help me, just kept me awake at night, prevented me from doing a ton, encouraged me to stay in horrible relationships, stopped me from following dreams, and so on. Life is going to happen no matter how much anxiety you have about it so I recommend you try and let that go and deal with the ride as it comes. Enjoy it when you can, get through the shitty parts when they arise. Good and bad. Up and down. Dark and light. Yin and Yang. They go hand in hand. Easy to say, harder to do. The best thing to do is breathe so here’s another freebie.
Inhale - 4 seconds
Hold - 7 seconds
Exhale - 8 seconds*
Truth be told, I’d never heard of this breathing technique before Lisa discovered it but I’ve been doubling my exhale for years. I do it countless times in a day. Every time I feel that weight in my chest, I do it. I did it just now as I’m writing this because I felt anxiety over sending this out to all of you. I’d even argue that you don’t need to worry about the 7 second hold if you’re struggling with this. Just inhale, hold for a second and then slowly exhale. Don’t worry about the time because that can increase your anxiety. Don’t think about the detail, just inhale normally, hold, exhale as slowly as you can.
Anthony & Lisa
*If you claim that you can’t extend your exhale for 8 seconds (you know who you are), yes you can. Think of filling a balloon with air and then using your fingers to let it out slower and slower. That’s your diaghram (I think..I’m not a doctor) and you need to strengthen it. Don’t just hold your breath and then let it all out with relief…slowly let it start leaking out. If you insist that 8 seconds is a lifetime, shorten the inhale to 3 seconds and the exhale to 6.