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How to restore calm in 60 seconds

How to restore calm in 60 seconds

One of the hardest things about having anxiety is getting people to understand what it’s like to have every nerve fibre pinging, your stomach turning, your heart threatening to jump out of your chest and an indescribable urge to flee.

It’s easy to feel judged, dismissed and irrelevant, but once we understand what anxiety is, and more importantly, how to reduce it, we can step out of the stigma and back into living the life we want.

Anxiety is your sympathetic nervous system kicking in and activating your body’s flight, fight or freeze response to stress. An early warning system of sorts. The problem is though, when this warning system won’t take a break so you start doubting yourself and withdraw from your life. But, there is help at hand, and it’s closer than you think!

A quick way to take your power back and get your sympathetic nervous system to calm it’s farm, is by getting your parasympathetic nervous system to take charge.

How do you do this? Well, there are a series of nerves associated with the parasympathetic nervous system, that when activated, can serve as effective reset button back into calm. The best part is, that getting these good guys onside is super easy and quick!

The biggest of these is your Vagus Nerve, in fact about 75 percent of your parasympathetic nerve fibres come from this one nerve. Think of it as your big kahuna of calm!

The fastest way to activate it is simply to take a series of slow, deep breaths. The kind that really push your belly out.

If you want to add extra power to your anxiety-busting army, you can stimulate two other big

parasympathetic ceasefire soldiers – the facial nerve and the oculomotor nerve. You can do this by adopting a big cheesy smile to as you breathe deep and by allowing your eyes to relax and get that happy, almost dreamy look. Hey, sounds weird I know, but it works.

When you do this, your sympathetic nervous system becomes confused. Just imagine all those anxiety soldiers, sent out by your amygdala and hypothalamus, scratching their heads and thinking ‘’hang on, we don’t breathe deep, smile or relax our eyes when we’re stressed” before standing down and calling a truce.

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to anxiety, but when you’re carrying a huge load, you don’t need to put it all down in order to be able to carry on. Using this trick may just be enough to lighten that load and prevent your sympathetic nervous system taking such a toll on your health.

Anxiety is not a big brick wall between you and your dreams, it’s just your body needing some extra tools to help climb over it.

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but this is a phenomenal way to take back control when anxiety sucker punches you.

Reach out if you’d like a heap of other great tools to add to your anxiety arsenal.

You’ve got this!

Leanne Shaw
Senior Coach/Trainer
Leanne Shaw

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