The idea of looking for professional help when we are really stressed, anxious or down can be daunting. It is often the first time people have seriously considered making that step. Most people, however, never regret taking the decision to act, and seeing a mental health professional invariably helps more than they ever imagined it would.
It may come as a surprise but for a variety of reasons, over time, the way we breathe everyday can change. We start to breathe in an inefficient way, faster than we need to, and using the wrong muscles. Stress and anxiety are usually at the root of such changes. Unfortunately, this new way of breathing tends to make us more anxious- setting up a vicious circle.
Like our breathing, we constantly change how we attend to things, often depending on interest or necessity. When we are stressed we tend to focus on things intently…like gripping the steering wheel in a traffic jam far tighter than we need to. Or we focus incessantly on our thoughts, unable to attend to anything else. Such narrow- focused attention is exhausting. Learning how to attend to things differently is a life-skill that helps us escape worry and rumination and teaches us a clinically proven way to relax.