How to use the breath to work with anxiety and depression?

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So what is this one breath at a time thing and how will it help with my anxiety and depression. When I first heard about this I was skeptical for sure. I was like of course I live one breath at a time doesn’t everyone? This concept seems foolish. But to my surprise this idea has saved my life time and time again.

My first experience with being mindful of my breathing was not very pleasant at all! I had spent my life not being conscience of my body or mind. I let my life be dictated by the random thought that would motivate me to make the decisions I was making. The decision I was making were definitely causing chaos in my life and the life of others. I was paranoid about my body and always thought something medical was wrong with me. Anything from a heart attack to cancer. The mind is very powerful and if used in the wrong way can definitely create a living hell for anyone.

You are probably now wondering what the breath has to do with all of this. After overcoming the initial pain and discomfort from mindful breathing I started to find this little bit of quiet and peace within me. I never realized how loud my thoughts were and what I was telling myself in my head. Thoughts like “you are not good enough, people don’t like you, this depression and anxiety will never go away, I’m ugly, I’m dumb,” and the list goes on. If I had a friend that talked to me like my own thought do I would definitely no longer be friends with them. But with those thoughts I let them follow me everywhere I went.

Breathing mindfully does scientifically slow down the heart rate which I find to also slow down my thoughts. At first when practicing this you will feel the opposite. Being unconscious of our thinking for so long is definitely going to cause our minds to feel like there are so many thoughts when we pay attention to them. The beauty of it as is that being aware of these thoughts you can begin to filter out the thoughts that don’t serve your well-being. And once again being aware of the breath will slow down your thoughts just enough to be able to notice each thought.

Now I’m going to make this clear and say this isn’t an easy practice. It is very helpful to have a network of people that you can talk to and trust. If you have any trauma, ptsd, addiction, and any other mental health issues you definitely will need some support. A lot will come up during this practice. And it definitely is a practice so be easy on yourself. Below this article I have added a couple links to some free instructions on how to practice mindful breathing. I would love to hear from you about whether this works for you or not. Also if you need personal guidance feel free to reach out to me on one of the social media sites. Good luck and always remember we are more than just our thoughts.

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