Anxiety demands attention to breathing

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Anxiety a problem? Try this now:


Use your higher brain to control your breathing. First just notice your breathing.

Bingo; one part of the brain is communicating with another – you can now

control your Self.


Look at a clock and make your out-breath last 6 seconds (don’t worry about the

in-breath; it’ll take care of itself). Use your abdominal muscles to make the

outbreath slow and firm. Do this for one minute.


If you can do it – which is approximately 90% of you – your adrenaline levels will

start to fall. Why? Because if you can inhibit the drive to breathe in, you inhibit

the fear response. Why? Because –


the drive to breathe in is part of the anxiety process, NOT lack of air.


Feels like you’re short of air, doesn’t it? But you’re not. How can you be short of

air? – You’re over-breathing.


Breathing and anxiety know each other….


How can I frighten you quickly?

Answer: by stopping you breathing. You will quickly become anxious, then

frightened, then terrified.

Think about it; this is so obvious it’s missed.

Breathing and fear processing are controlled by the same parts of the brain.

Fear will produce an adrenalized state that drives fast and deep breathing –

precisely because your brain thinks you will need to run or defend yourself, for

which much more oxygen is needed. Biology.


Anxiety is the new, modern fear – but stuck on a low-to- medium volume.


Exactly this same part of the brain is activated during anxiety states. Anxiety is a

‘civilised’ version of fear; there isn’t a bear or cobra in the room, but your brain

behaves as if there might be one somewhere. Anxiety is a grumbling, on-going

mild or moderate fear programme running that keeps the stress hormone profile



What does anxiety do?


Anxiety will tense your muscles, disturb your digestion, interrupt your sleep,

distract you from your relationships, sabotage your libido, and keep your brain

frantically scanning through the list of possible reasons to explain it. It comes up

with plenty, doesn’t it? Don’t buy into the reasons – soothe your body instead!