This form of mental illness is very common and can be linked to other disorders such as depression, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and other specific forms of anxiety disorders such a social phobia, separation anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.
One can learn relaxation techniques such as box breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is when you tense different muscles in your body and hold the tension for a few seconds before relaxing it.
I find one of the hardest aspects of experiencing a severe anxious episode is remembering that you are not alone. Next week I will be posting a continuation of this blog post on anxiety disorder treatment and will be focusing on more cognitive behavioural approaches to treating anxiety through thought records and other approaches. This entry was posted in Anxiety, Mental Health and tagged anxiety disorder, box breathing, cognitive behavioural therapy, illness, Life, mental health, progressive muscle relaxation, relaxation techniques, self administered treatment, treatment by Becs.
Before you even begin to deepen or slow down the breathing process, there is much to be gained from simply watching the breath. Where does your breath go (chest, stomach).  How does it feel in your mouth or nose?  How does it feel in the muscles of your torso? Are the sensations fairly constant, or do they change as you watch them… as you continue to breathe? You’ll notice that as you practice more, your breathing will quite easily become longer and deeper. But when we begin to pay attention and alter the way we use our lungs, breathing becomes a powerful way to relax our minds and muscles.
Most people have developed poor breathing habits over time, restricting oxygen intake. Some of us may believe that belly breathing is the correct way to breathe, and so deliberately stopped moving our chest to inhale and exhale. Any of these methods of breathing restricts our natural movement and reduces the amount of air we can inhale.
If you place one hand on your chest and one hand at your waist, near your belly button, you will discover which type of breather you are. Actually, many people already are aware that they use only part of their lungs to inhale, but they don’t realize what a problem that is. When you feel comfortable that your breathing is balanced between belly and chest, you have learned a new skill for life.
With that being said, how does one cope with anxiety disorder and how does one conquer these worries or fears? It’s so easy to have your thoughts race and to begin thinking that you are the only person who goes through this and for that you are ‘odd’ or ‘not normal’.

The resulting oxygen deficiency has a negative effect on our health and  overall performance.
Find a quiet place were you will be undisturbed for a few minutes then sit up straight and start by exhaling. After expanding the belly, continue inhaling and this time fill up the middle of your chest. Try these simple techniques to help calm your mind, relax your muscles, rest your body and sleep.BreathingDevelop your breathing awareness, it will benefit you and the baby during pregnancy and help you during the birth. While psychotherapy is certainly an option using methods such a talk therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy, there are also steps one can take on their own to assist in eradicating or at least diminishing these provoking thoughts that result in feelings of anxiety. It’s important to remember how prevalent anxiety disorder is and to not focus on how ‘not normal’ we might feel, but to try and remember self-administered steps we can take to help relax our minds and bodies in order to feel a sense of equilibrium.
During pregnancy breathing deeply and rhythmically can ease muscle tension, lower your heart rate, and help you fall asleep faster. I know it can be difficult to remember these exercises during an anxious episode or it can be difficult to perform these exercises on your own so I suggest teaching a friend, family member or loved one how to perform these exercises so they can remind you to do them and can coach you through it.
When you’re too overwhelmed by thoughts and this feeling of impending doom that you just don’t know what to do. When your emotions become so out of control you no longer know how to verbalize how you are feeling. If inhaling is shallow and rapid due to tension and anxiety, your metabolic rate increases, leading to; a decrease in oxygen intake, causing a decrease in energy and increase in pain, which increases stress.
When the only actions you can manage to perform are manic and fidgety, like picking your fingers or rubbing your palms down the side of your thighs. This is the reality of many… the undesired aspects of anxiety disorder which may, in extreme cases, lead to pure and undeniable panic. In this position, you may not be able to breathe as deeply.) With your mouth closed, breathe slowly through your nose, feeling your stomach rise as you gradually fill your diaphragm and lungs with air. By breathing calmly and deeply, you will be able to center yourself and surrender to the natural rhythm of contractions.
Practice positions for second stage, visualizing contractions, focusing your breath on the exhalation.
Centre your awareness on the pelvic floor expanding and opening, and your vagina stretching and opening as the baby descends. Be as vocal as you feel comfortable with, as it will help you release tension.MassageDuring pregnancy increased pressure on the body can cause pain & discomfort.
It is common to experience lower back pain as the baby grows, making room can often mean pushing your organs back towards your spine.

It is recommended to seek a professional masseur that specializes in pregnancy techniques for your back, as too much pressure could be damaging.Yoga and stretchingYoga & stretching will help you relax and will also keep toned and flexible during pregnancy.
Many gyms and health clubs offer yoga and stretch classes; some are designed specifically for pregnant women.
Or you can create your own stretch routine with simple moves for your neck and shoulders, back, waist, calves and hamstrings.
Although you don't want to work up a sweat too close to bedtime, gently stretching your muscles during the day and before bedtime can make falling asleep a little easier.Muscle relaxationIt may take you several weeks to master muscle relaxation, but once you do, it can really help you sleep. Lying on your bed or even on the floor, you can release tight muscles by first tensing and then completely relaxing them. Start by tensing and releasing your hand and forearm muscles, followed by your biceps and triceps, face and jaw, chest and shoulders, stomach, thighs, etc until you reach your feet. It is important to work on your feet circulation as the additional weight you are carrying puts a deal of pressure on your feet.AromatherapyNot all essential oils are safe during pregnancy.
Let your imagination flow to detail the scene, including the sounds, smells, tastes, and textures around you. It may take some practice, but keep trying, once you master this technique you can use your imagination to calm your anxious or restless mind and help you slip into a deep sleep. HerbsChamomileAlthough there is no scientific evidence that chamomile is a mild sedative, many believe that drinking chamomile tea does calm the nerves. Chamomile can help calm the stomach if you are suffing from gastro problems like indigestion and flatulence.
Note: If you're allergic to ragweed or prone to hayfever, you could be allergic to chamomile, too. To find out, hold a small amount of chamomile tea in your mouth for a few seconds and then spit it out. If your mouth itches or feels strange, do not use this herb.LavenderRevered by aromatherapists worldwide, lavender has a soothing scent that may help you drift off to sleep.
You can sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow or add them to a warm bath with some lemon balm. However, not all lavender is tranquilizing: Spanish lavender can actually stimulate your senses.

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