Updated: Jun 7, 2019
Our brains are programmed to protect us, to help us survive against anything it perceives as a threat to our livelihood. Thousands of years ago that threat had teeth and claws and was chasing us. Today, that threat is an ignored post, a client that hasn’t paid, or the endless chatter of doom on cable news.
When we are constantly on alert, our sympathic nervous systems go into hyper-drive and we become trapped in a emotional loop of fear. This loop feeds secondary emotions like anxiety.
A New York Times article recently talked about a new shared cultural experience of anxiety. Yet, anxiety is an isolating emotion that is based on fear. It cuts us from love, joy, passion and a sense of connection - to ourselves and each other. Without these things life is just existing. So, how can we change this culture of anxiety, and bring connection and purpose back into our lives?
We all breathe, unconsciously, all day long. But in a state of anxiety those breaths are short and shallow. When we focus on our breath, and take slow, deep, conscious breaths that fill our belly and chest, our parasympathetic nervous system puts its foot on the brake of emotions like fear and anxiety and we calm down.
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