A PER­FECT ZEN

Three ways to bring on the calm

Best Health - - WELLNESS NEWS -

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.

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