When my Apple Watch tells me to breathe, I always hit snooze or ignore it. Who has time to breathe these days?! If I take a whole minute for deep breathing, that’s one less minute I can use to worry about my life.
As crazy as it sounds, that’s pretty much what happens. In all honesty, it’s always a good time to stop and breathe, but especially during moments of panic and anxiety.
How do I use deep breathing? I find it interesting that many sources suggest finding a nice, private, quiet space for deep breathing. Maybe this could be possible for true practice or mindfulness and meditation, but in a moment of panic, sometimes any place will do. In my opinion, the technique can be just as unimportant. I’ve come across the 4-7-8 technique, the 7-11 (simpler, shown below), any combination of timing. It’s good to learn about different breathing strategies, but ultimately you need your body to relax. The NHS has some great information HERE about focusing on the body rather than counting.
Personally, deep breathing has become a more natural technique as I’ve needed it over time. But going from a gasping panic attack to deep cleansing breaths is not as easy as it sounds. If it’s new to you, just focus on your breath to start, and try to let that oxygen in. Then do it again, more slowly…and repeat. And why save it for panicking? This practice is the first step to more mindful breathing and stress management.
I guess my watch had it right all along.