2 Practices To Try If Focusing On The Breath Makes You Anxious
When we feel anxious, whether it’s a momentary sense of anxiety or a formal diagnosis of anxiety, that feeling stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, also known as “fight or flight” mode. When we’re feeling anxious, cortisol levels increase, the heart starts beating faster, and the pace of the breath quickens.
Breath is just one aspect of fight or flight, so it is very common for people with anxiety to experience an inability to catch or slow their breath, or to increase their awareness of that breath.
Fight or flight is a natural, self-preservation technique, and it actually means the body is functioning appropriately. Our job is to figure out what’s causing that stress response, and begin to manage it.