How to manage Stress and Anxiety. Four simple Techniques.

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anxious, scared, or angry?
Feeling you get when you’re anxious, scared, or angry, and you can feel your body start to spiral out of control, almost like you’re falling out of a plane without a parachute. Well, stick around. I want to tell you about these built-in emotional parachutes that your body has and how you can deploy them whenever you feel the need.
I’m Nikhila Deshpance, and I’m a licensed practicing psychologist and a relationship and anxiety therapist. My clinic is in Goregaon West. And in this article, I want to talk to you about your body’s natural and trainable counteracting response to the fight, flight, or freeze response. If you want more information on the fight, flight, or freeze response, then do mention it in the comments section below, and I will write more on the same.
But it’s also very much manifested in our bodies. Now, there are a lot of things you can do to help: pull yourself out of the fight; freeze the flight. But in this video, I’m just going to cover four simple ways that I feel work best to calm you down and soothe that anxiety response. So, in this video, we’re going to cover deep breathing and vagal tone, peripheral vision, softening the eyes, the Valsalva maneuver, and the lon. But first, let’s talk about a little G4 context. So our bodies have What’s called the autonomic nervous system. This part of our nervous system automatically regulates breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and a whole bunch of other stuff. When we experience a stressful situation, the autonomic nervous system kicks on that fight, flight, or freeze response, which is also known as the sympathetic response. This response is automatic, and it controls how much cortisol and adrenaline are released into our system. It increases our blood pressure and our breathing rate; your hands may start to sweat, your stomach May clench up, or your voice May start to shake just a little bit. These are the physical manifestations of anxiety. However, our brilliant wisdom The beautiful body has a counterbalancing force called the parasympathetic response, and that’s para as in parachutist, and this is the body’s natural way of slowing down and creating a sense of calm and safety.
It works like this. If your brain thinks that you’re in a dangerous situation, whether that’s a tiger attacking you or just public speaking, your body May trigger the fight, flight, or freeze response, but when the dangerous situation is resolved and your brain knows that you’re safe, your body then triggers this parasympathetic response, which is also sometimes called rest and digest. It’s called this because as your body starts to relax and transition from that fight-or-flight response, other systems in your body freeze. Which had temporarily been switched off. Like they gestured, these come back online, and they start functioning normally again. So your breathing automatically slows down your immune system, turns it back on, and you’re able to relax and calm down. Your body has time to heal. This is how your body naturally transitions between these two states. And as I’ve said, it’s all automatic. So it may feel like this is all out of your control, but with some training, you can actually teach yourself to kick on That parasympathetic response and to do that. You first need to know about your vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the autonomic nervous system, and this nerve does two really important things. So first, it can trigger that parasympathetic response that we want, and second, it transmits signals in both directions. So that means it can send information from your brain to your body about whether to be stressed or calm, and then it can send information from your body to your brain about whether to be stressed or calm. There are various techniques to access our vagus nerve.
Let’s go over these four body-calming techniques.
I will help you send these calming signals from your body to your brain to better regulate your emotions in stressful situations. So first, let’s talk about vagal tone. Vagal tone is a measure of how strong your parasympathetic response is; it indicates how good your autonomic nervous system is at calming down, just like muscle tone in your arm would indicate how much you exercise your arm. Vagal tone is a measure of how much you use your Tick nervous system and how strong it is. So to start, I’m going to just show you how to feel your vagal tone, and you’ll be doing this by noticing your heart rate variability. So first, find your pulse on your wrist, or if you hold really still, you should be able to feel your heart beating. Now, close your eyes. So you can focus, breathe in and breathe out very slowly, and pay attention to what happens to your heart rate when you breathe in. And when you breathe out, do it slowly and delay it as much as you can.
Okay, did you notice that when you breathe in, your heart rate increases, and when you breathe out slowly, your heart slows down? That is heart rate variability. For people who have a stronger vagal tone, their heart rate slows down even more on the out breath than for people who have a weaker vagal tone, just like exercising your arm muscles. You can exercise with deep breathing to strengthen your vagal tone. Higher vagal tone is associated With better General health; it leads to better blood sugar regulation, better heart health, improved digestion, and a reduction in migraines. Most importantly, it improves emotional stability and resilience. Lower vagal tone is associated with mood instability, depression, PTSD, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive impairment, and inflammation. So you’ve probably heard that deep breathing helps with Stress and Anxiety. And this is why Deep, slow breathing helps to increase your vagal tone and Trigger that parasympathetic response through the vagus nerve, and you may feel yourself relax when you do it. You may notice that you start to salivate or that your eyes soften, and that’s all thanks to how deep breathing and vagal tone affect the vagus nerve. So practicing deep breathing, especially those long, slow breaths, can help you soothe that stress response. Yes, and it can train your body to be better at kicking on that calming, parasympathetic response. So deep breathing is a really helpful skill for people with anxiety disorders and PTSD.
Another technique is that you can focus out in the open, But rather than focusing sharply on a thing, lose focus on any one particular thing. They relax, and your focus shifts from a specific visual point to more of your peripheral vision and everything around you. So you’ve likely experienced a softening when you’ve been lost in thought or daydreaming, so your eyes are open but they’re not really looking at anything. And this is what I mean when I say your eyes soften. Now, these nerves are here. It’s seven from the parasympathetic system. These controller eyes—you’ve maybe heard of the term of tunnel vision, right? That’s where your vision seems to get really narrow when you’re stressed. And again, your brain is sending signals along that vagus nerve to get into that fight. Flight freeze response I’ve only really noticed tunnel vision happen to me once. I was rock climbing up a scary route, and there’s a high risk of a fall. I came to this one spot on the route, and I was gripping the holds of the rock as tightly as I could. And I was looking for the next hole to keep moving, and I was really nervous; my arms were just like shaking; you know, I was running out of strength, and I was just looking as hard as I could, but I just couldn’t see any holds, and I’m about to fall, and just then my Labrador yells up to me that there’s this huge hold, you know, just right, basically, right in front of my eyes. And yep, there it was, like right there, but because I was feeling nervous and my body was getting all stressed out, it was like that. Shut down my ability to see around me. Well, it turns out that television is a sympathetic response. And again, that’s part of the fight-flight freeze. And when we soften our eyes, we can trigger a parasympathetic response. Meaning we can use our body to send signals out of the biggest nerve to the brain and tell it to calm down. Buddhists and yogis have known and practiced this for centuries.
So here’s the second way to trigger the parasympathetic response: So start by softening the muscles. And your eyes. So if you don’t know how to consciously do that, you can start by squeezing them shut. And then consciously relax them to gain more awareness, or you can just gently touch the side of your eyes right here. You can gently close your eyes and then open them really Softly.
Try to expand your awareness out to the sides of your vision while keeping your eyeballs straight ahead. So you can keep looking at the screen but then just start to notice what’s out to the side here, and using that peripheral vision is a way to trigger that calming, parasympathetic response. Okay. A third way to calm anxiety is to increase the pressure in your chest cavity. This is called the Valsalva maneuver. My five-year-old niece would love this because she loves potty talk. But basically, you’re going to Bear down as if you’re pooping, or you can plug your nose and close your mouth and push out, as if you’re going to exhale, or like you’re going to, you know, stifle a sneeze. So it’s just kind of like this. The vagus nerve actually comes into contact with your pelvic floor, and maybe you’ve seen this when someone’s breathing like that, and what they’re doing is subconsciously increasing that pressure in their chest and then letting it out. But you can also practice this by, you know, bearing down when paramedics are working with someone who has taken cardia, so that’s like a fast heartbeat. They’ll often tell them to bear down because this triggers the heart to slow down.
So bearing down is another way to stimulate that nerve and send signals to your brain to calm down and trigger that parasympathetic response. So, try breathing for 45 seconds.
Then hold it at beardown for 5 seconds.
Now, you don’t need to push hard; you just need to create a little pressure in your chest. And then finally breathe out for 5 seconds.
And do this once or twice in a row, breathing regularly in between so you don’t get lightheaded. This can help trigger that vagus nerve.
Finally, the fourth action to trigger that vagus nerve is to yawn. So my favorite way to do this is to make the r sound open, make your mouth really big, and try to lift your soft palate at the back of the roof of your mouth.
There’s a decent chance that this is going to make you yawn, or you can even try a fake to trigger that response.
This action makes me sleepy and relaxed. Have you ever noticed this reaction in your fur babies? If a dog gets super hyper, they’ll start doing these huge dog eons as they calm down. My dog didn’t even use to do this all the time in the car; she loved car trips. So she gets super excited about the car, and then she’d be in the car, and she would start to do these big yawns.
And you know how yawns are contagious. Well, that’s because yawning is actually a herd behavior. These contagious yawns keep the pack from going wild with excitement; these yawns send a message between dogs to each of these animals vagus nerves to say, You know, chill out, calm down. You’re okay. So those are the four quick ways to trigger the parasympathetic response. There are a bunch of other techniques you can try.
If you want me to write about any topic, please write in the comments section below.

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