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  • How to Calm Down in 60 Seconds

    When we experience emotional stress, our nervous system becomes activated. The physical sensations can be shallow breath, rise in blood pressure, heart palpitations, inability to think, shaking and/or sweating. This can lead to us to feel that we cannot control ourselves or calm back down.  The reason for this is because our Flight or Fight instinct has been turned on and we are now ready to respond very quickly to danger. This is helpful when there is real life danger but can be very disruptive if there isn’t.  

    Deep breathing can help you interrupt this physical response by signaling your nervous system that there isn’t any danger and allow you to calm down.  This technique is used in meditation, Yoga and Tai Chi.  It is a type of breathing that involves the lungs, belly, and diaphragm. It requires that you focus and pay attention to the exercise, not to your escalating emotional response.  With practice, you can train your nervous system to calm down very quickly.

    How to Get Started

    Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.  Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach just under your rib cage.

    1. Breathe in through your nose slowly counting to 4 and push out your stomach as you inhale. The hand on your chest should remain still.

    2. Hold for a count of 4.

    3. Breathe out through your mouth slowly counting to 4 and bring your stomach back in towards your spine.  The hand on your chest should remain still.

    4. Hold for a count of 4.

    5. Repeat two more times.

    * It is best to practice this at least 3 times a day for 10 – 14 days to obtain the most benefit.