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  • Writer's pictureTommy Cicero

Taking a deep breath retreat

"Take a deep breath. It calms the mind."

Living in this fast-paced world can become overwhelming at times, especially if we allow ourselves to get caught up in the minor distractions that bombard us throughout the day. Getting all flustered or worked up will only add to the chaos that presents itself when it feels like we have too much on our plate all at once, but it happens. Life happens. We simply have to be ready and willing to deal with the circumstances when it seems like we are losing control or feeling overwhelmed.

One of the most beneficial coping skills I have learned to use when I feel my anxiety level rising due to information overload is to simply take a step back and take some slow, deep breaths. Science tells us by slowing down our breath we are able to better manage symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia. All it takes is some self-awareness and being mindful when we start feeling the onset of panic or distress due to any stimulus overload we may be encountering in the moment. We have the ability to slow down our breath, thereby, slowing down our heart rate and our overstimulated mind.

I started taking these deep breath retreats whenever I would feel my anxiety taking over and attempting to put me in a negative emotional state, feeling helpless. There are several breathing techniques that are medically proven to help us manage our anxiety or stress levels. I have benefited greatly from incorporating box breathing techniques. When we are able to slow our breathing down and get into a rhythm, it can provide a soothing sensation that can help bring us back to a sense of calm and relaxation. There is no need for any physical aides. All that is required is simply focusing on our breath.

Next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stress building up inside, I encourage you to take a step back from everything that is going on and take a long slow breath. Then, take a few more. You can even practice some of the breathing exercises in the articles I linked. You may be surprised to learn that finding some calm amidst the chaos is not as difficult as you perhaps thought. Making a regular practice out of focusing on our breath and controlling it with slower, rhythmic breathing patterns can do wonders for our mental health and wellbeing. It's all in the breath. Simple, yet profound!

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