If you are experiencing excessive worry about the past and anxiety about what could go wrong in the future, you will be helped by learning mindfulness and breathing exercises. Because of our hardwired stress response system of fight, flight and freeze, our physiology can get stuck in the “on or off” position when confronted with an overwhelming event which then continues to be stored in the body. This dysregulation can contribute to depression, anxiety, insomnia, medical conditions as well as autoimmune disorders.
Mindfulness practice helps us to connect with both mind and body in an effort to gain self-awareness and reconnect with our core self. The busyness of our lives with demands of work, family, finances, etc, keeps us on the move and distracted, often preventing us from being present in the moment. Mindfulness can be thought of as awareness of our present experience and focused attention on an activity. Through guided practice mindfulness can become a tool for sharpening focus, developing emotional equilibrium and learning to better cope with stress.
Mindfulness can be helpful if you are doing one activity, but thinking ahead of what’s next, not being aware of body sensations of discomfort or pleasure, or preoccupation with the past or future. Mindfulness techniques involve exercises around focused attention, breath meditation, awareness of body sensations and developing skills of self compassion.
One important way to balance the stress response system in our body is through breath work. Researchers have found that “coherent breathing”, that is, breathing between 4 and 6 breaths per minute, is an optimal breath rate for most people.
Breath work is critical for stimulating parts of our central nervous system which is responsible for a relaxation response. This is important in learning self-regulation at times of stress or when triggered by a traumatic event. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, chronic pain or chronic medical problems, learning breathing techniques will shift symptoms and enhance your overall well being. The techniques utilized are borrowed from some of the leaders in the field whom are well known for their expertise. You will learn techniques in sessions as well as receiving guidance and resources for practice between sessions.
We seek out therapy to feel better, to gain an understanding of factors contributing to distress and learn techniques and skills to develop resiliency. You will discover that mindfulness and breath work will help you achieve these goals.