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The 7:11 Breathing Pattern - the opposite of hyperventilation
Finally you can practice a special type of breathing, not into your chest but deep into your tummy or diaphragm which is below your chest. The important thing here is that the out breath must be longer that the in breath. This causes stimulation of the part of your nervous system responsible for relaxation. This is a basic law of biology and if you breathe in this way then your body will have no choice but to relax due to a marginal increase in your bloods level of carbon dioxide.Once that blood gets to the brain the brain tells the rest of the body to calm down sending nerve messages to the muscle groups.
It may take a few minutes but the body will respond regardless of what your mind is thinking. Experience this now. Sit down and close your eyes for a little while. Just become aware of your breathing.and breathe in to the count of seven. and breathe out to the count of eleven. You can hold for a couple of seconds at the bottom of the out breath if that’s comfortable for you.
It may be a little difficult at first, but doing this regularly causes your general anxiety level to come down. You may also find that you begin to breathe this way automatically if you feel anxious. Regular relaxation actually starts to inhibit the production of stress hormones in the body so it actually becomes harder and harder to panic. As you become more generally relaxed the ‘baseline’ of arousal from which you are starting lowers. It actually becomes harder to get stressed!
Hyperventilation responds very well to this technique. If you practice this daily, hyperventilating should cease to be a problem very quickly. It can also give you much more control over panic attacks and/or help to train you to reduce your own levels of anxiety which in turn helps you to control your behaviour.
Self-management is the best management of a situation.