A PERFECT ZEN
Three ways to bring on the calm
1 LEARN TO BREATHE
There is a correlation between breathing and anxiety, says Jesse Hanson, a psychotherapist and clinical director of Helix Healthcare Group in Toronto. “The more your breathing gets short and rapid, the higher your anxiety is, and vice versa,” says Hanson. Slowing down your breathing can help prevent and treat anxiety. Begin by inhaling onethird of the way, feeling your breath fill your stomach. Then inhale the next third, imagining that it reaches your heart. Let the last third make you rise taller as you picture the air filling you up to your head. As you exhale, feel your chest and belly relax.
2 PRACTISE MEDITATION
Anxiety is about fear – about getting too far into our thoughts about future outcomes, says Hanson. Mindfulness is about being in the present moment. It’s also about learning to observe your thoughts and separate them from yourself. “Thoughts happen to us,” says Hanson. “We can witness them happening and not be controlled by them.”
3 SEE A PSYCHOTHERAPIST
If you find yourself stuck in an anxiety rut, seek help. A psychotherapist can help you delve into childhood experiences, relationships and other contributing factors. “It’s like getting a weed at the roots so it won’t keep growing back,” says Hanson.