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How to calm feelings of stress and anxiety

| Becca Clayton

Do you sometimes feel anxious? Or perhaps stressed – whether at work or home? Maybe even to the extent that it stops you concentrating, you feel distracted or alternatively your mind goes blank? If you do, you’re not alone. Feelings like this are increasingly common, especially when we feel we have so much to do.

Do I feel anxious?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. It is more than just an emotion, it is a physical experience as well. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life.

Sometimes the causes are easy to identify. Maybe you’re giving a tricky presentation or going for an interview? Perhaps you have to make a difficult phone call or finish a report against a tight deadline? On other occasions you may experience a generalised sense of anxiety & find it hard to pinpoint a specific cause. Maybe you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

The reasons for feeling under stress vary hugely, but can lead us to feel out of control. Thankfully there are some very effective tools to tackle the physical symptoms; calm your mind and help you regain that feeling of control. You will find you are able to concentrate and perform to the best of your ability, and feel happier in the process. Box Breathing is one of those tools.

What is box breathing?

One of our favourites wellness tools is box breathing, sometimes known as square breathing. It is an effortless but effective breathing technique that slows down your breathing, relieves stress and enhances performance and concentration.

The principle behind box breathing is to occupy your mind and distract you from your anxieties as you count to four.  Who would have thought a simple counting technique could be so effective? It works because it calms the autonomic nervous system, lowers blood pressure and provides an immediate sense of calm thereby decreasing bodily stress.

Box breathing tips

You can practise box breathing by laying or sitting down at home; finding somewhere quiet at work, or even in a public place if needed. The technique is suitable for anyone and everyone.

A few tips to bear in mind. The more you practice it the better you will get. If you get dizzy, stay sitting for a minute, breathe normally, then try again. Ideally, to focus on your breathing you should find somewhere quiet, dimly lit and away from anything that might distract you. You need to totally focus on your breathing in order for it to work!

Watch our box breathing video

We have added a calming and instructive 5 minute video to the Tonic and Me subscribers area of our website to guide you through the process. If you log in you will find it in the Media Library!

If your organisation does not have access to our well@work prorgamme and you would like to know more, simply contact us at: hello@choosetonic.co.uk or just fill in this contact form…

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