Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why does deep breathing help anxiety and how do you do it in the car?

When people think of anxiety, they often think of certain situations. While they realize that there are certain situations that can cause anxiety, like flying or public speaking, people tend to forget that anxiety can also happen while driving. Many people think that driving anxiety is easy to overcome, but there are many who have trouble getting into a car, driving, or traveling long distances outside of their comfort zone. They become anxious, and begin to have trouble with anxiety or even panic.

When people start to feel anxious or upset, they start to breathe shallowly. This causes many of the physical symptoms which scare people and makes their anxiety worsen, such as lightheadedness, unreality, or tingling. Deep breathing has been known to be a great way to help someone get rid of panic attacks and anxiety. The techniques of deep breathing help people to calm down and relax; if someone is having an anxiety attack in the car, calming down is what they need to do the most!

How does Deep Breathing Work?

Deep breathing techniques use breathing to bring your body and mind into a calm state. For some people, deep breathing techniques simply require that you take deep breaths repetitively. For others, you are required to completely focus on breathing and nothing else. You are asked to turn off all appliances and lights so that you may close your eyes and completely focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breath is a great way to calm yourself down, both body and mind. Deep breathing gets you to focus on the breathing instead of any other aspect; if you are having anxiety, you simply breathe deeply to take your mind off whatever is causing the anxiety and reduce the bodily sensations that hyperventilation can cause.

How Can Deep Breathing Works in the Car?

Deep breathing can easily work in a car for those who are struggling with anxiety due to driving. If the anxiety is slight, you can simply work on deep breathing while you drive. This is the form of simple deep breathing that only requires you to take deep breaths and concentrate more on breathing than your mind’s reaction to driving.

If you are having a harder time with driving and are having a major anxiety attack, it is still possible to practice deep breathing techniques in the car. Pull into a parking lot (or onto the shoulder of the road) while you are beginning to have the attack. Turn off your car and focus on your breathing. Continue to focus on your breath until you notice that you have become calm, cool, and collected. This can be repeated as much as needed over the course of a car trip.

A lot of people think that deep breathing could not work for them, that it can’t be powerful enough for their anxiety. Deep breathing can actually be a great way for those who are anxious driving to get some quick relief and put their reaction into their own hands. If you are having anxiety or fear while driving, you can simply practice deep breathing on the road, or by pulling off of the road; no other type of work for anxiety can help you on the spot as quickly and easily as deep breathing can.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do You Block Out Signs of Stress?

No one likes to admit they’re on the verge of losing it. We let the daily stress in our lives build and build until we’re fuming inside. Sometimes that anger and hostility works it way out, but for many, it remains hidden away inside, damaging your psyche and your physical health. For many, it can cause or worsen anxiety while driving.

If you’re one of the ones who bottle up your stress, it’s important that you know how it’s really affecting you when you drive. You’re not doing yourself any favors tucking it neatly away to be dealt with at a more convenient time.

Men and women with this type of problem handling stress ignore the signs of what stress is doing to them. They pretend like everything’s okay and don’t connect the fact that their backache, headaches, and driving phobia are a result of putting their stress issues on the backburner.

Women usually do this more than men. In a society where women provide most of the nurturing to the family, they’re busy meeting everyone else’s needs and don’t have time (or energy) to focus on their own personal situation.

In fact, you may not even know that you’re stressed at all – you simply assume this is how life is supposed to be and you accept it as a fact. You can’t and don’t relax because you don’t even know that another state of mind exists.

The problem arises when that stress gets to a point where the person can’t handle it anymore. Suddenly, they’re burned out – suffering anxiety in the car and succumbing to depression without realizing why it’s all unfolding that way.

When the symptoms begin appearing, it means you’re bordering on more severe problems, like high blood pressure and possibly even a heart attack if you don’t address the stress in your life and find ways to alleviate it.

Unfortunately, for someone who doesn’t know that stress is the root of their problems with driving, it’s more difficult for them to know how to tame the stress in their lives. They first have to get back in touch with their emotions.

Instead of getting mad but keeping it to yourself, you need to release it in small amounts so that you don’t allow the damage of stress to infiltrate your body and mind. If you feel overwhelmed, shed some tears.

It’s okay to cry and get angry or express your anxiety to someone you love. You’re not a robot – you’re a human who needs an outlet for your stress. If you have no one to turn to, turn to yourself! Journal your emotions at the end of each day and leave your stress in the pages of your diary so it doesn’t come back to haunt you with your health or on the road.

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