Laura Portsmouth FdA, MBACP Integrative Humanistic Counselling in Farnborough Call: 07800 512 918 or email:

Helping yourself. Breathe

Helping yourself!

The fastest and most effective way to regulate yourself and get back to the Green zone where rational thinking exists, and stop yourself from going into fight/flight mode of panic and overwhelm (also known as the amber zone where irrational thinking takes place) is to immediately take control of your breathing.

1. Take a deep and long breath in whilst counting up to 4 or 5, whatever feels most comfortable for you.

2. Hold this breath in for a count of 4 or 5.

3. Let this breath out slowly for a count of 4 or 5.

Repeat a few times until experience feeling calmer, more in control again and back into the green zone where rational thinking can dominate once again!

Any deep breathing exercise can be effective for relieving anxiety. Keeping it as simple as you can increases the likelihood of it doing what you need it to do!

You can also help to stop yourself from falling deeper into the Amber zone of fight/flight by focusing your thoughts on something that gives you a feeling of safety, warmth and comfort. A nice holiday you enjoyed, a special day out with a friend or family member, an evening you spent enjoying listening to music or reading a book you were engrossed in. Recalling, bringing to the front of your mind any event such as this will help you begin to feel calmer. Self soothing yourself into a sense of safety instead of staying with the heightened feeling of unsafety that happens when something has triggered your amygdala into believing that you are in that moment at risk of harm in some way, when in fact you are not.

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