When our breathing runs away with us it’s often a sign that our bodies have gone into the ‘Fight – Flight – Freeze’ response. The adrenalin and cortisol have well and truly kicked in and we’re ready to do whatever it is we need to do in order to survive! But unfortunately a curt email from your boss does not respond to being hit over the head, and the idiotic driver who is now in front having just cut you up is oblivious to all the rude gestures he should be seeing in his rear view mirror – and so the stress adds up.
Just by taking back control of your breathing in situations like this can make a huge difference. Next time you’re feeling a little overwhelmed try making your out breath just a little bit longer than your in breath, making sure you’re not forcing it in any way.
2. Notice what your body is trying to tell you.
Likewise, when we do suffer from stress those same stress chemicals surge through our bodies making them feel tense and uncomfortable. If you can, become more and more aware of when this happens and make a conscious effort to relax your muscles, especially those in your shoulders, neck and face.
3. Notice your thought patterns.
Perhaps you’re someone who lives in the past. Or perhaps you’re someone who projects themselves constantly into the future. Perhaps you might be someone who knows that their thoughts often become hooked on to a continual loop, repeating the same old things over and over and over again. Or perhaps you might notice when your thoughts seem to be taking a dip into an ever decreasing spiral.
Being more aware of our own thought patterns at any given time can enable us to become more in control of what is happening up there in our minds – we can notice thoughts for what they are, simply thoughts.
4. Notice all the times you imagine the worst case scenario happening.
We are automatically programmed to focus on everything that could go wrong. It’s the way our brains work and is a throw back to prehistoric times when we had to be continually on the look-out for danger. We project ourselves into the future, imagining stressful stuff so that we can then keep ourselves safe by doing something about it. But nowadays there’s no need to imagine situations as dangerous and life threatening - that presentation you need to do in a couple of week’s time is not going to eat you! Yes, you need to be on top form but it’s not the same sort of threat as a lion coming at you in the jungle. So every time you notice this negative thought projecting, just see what happens if you swap all the negatives for positives instead.
5. Notice all the times you make judgements – about yourself in particular.
This is a huge factor in making ourselves incredibly stressed. Judging yourself for what you should’ve done, what you should’ve said, what you didn’t do, what you didn’t say etc etc. Simply by noticing when you do this can help to ease things a little. We’re all only human. We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. And we’re all just trying the best we can in life. So try to go easy on yourself.
Hope this helps!
If you’d like more information on how hypnotherapy and mindfulness might be able to help you then please do get in touch with me, Rachel at:
Tel – 07733 839 591
Central England Holistic Therapies,
240, Alcester Road South,