Breathing is important

19 Jan

If you want the short version of everything I have founds works for dismantling social anxiety, here you go:

1. Observe yourself doing things, so you can note your problems.
2. Experiment with different techniques, and observe how these affect your problems.

Approaching it like this by myself has been helpful.


I’m  working on a lot of stuff personally with anxiety. My personal experience with dismantling anxiety is that progress is intermittently interrupted by sliding back for awhile. I think it’s part of the process. It’s also different to slide back, because I observe it happening with new knowledge and skills. I have a better idea that I’m not destined to experience it forever – so the anxiety is blunted a little bit. Almost always, I find the solution is to get something new. A new technique, or a new perspective. Sometimes pulling up old things I’d tried before is just what’s needed to pull me out of it.

My current trick comes from a voice exercise that is meant to loosen the throat muscles up. Basically, put your tongue in an ‘n’ position (as if you were saying ‘nun.’). Start with a note, slide up to a higher note, then slide back down again. The reasoning I was given for this exercise is that the tongue controls the same muscles that constrict the throat. I don’t know how accurate this is – but anything that has to do with loosening throat muscles is of interest to me.

Two of the most constant symptoms of my anxiety are tightened neck/throat muscles, and a tightened chest. When it’s really bad, it’s like I’m constantly holding my breath. This leads to injuries if I don’t keep it in check, and just general pain. (In my case, my shoulders, neck, chest, and knees suffer. I also get bad TMJ.) So any new idea I can find that will help me breathe is worth trying.

So far, the exercise itself isn’t fixing anything for me. I’m just too good at keeping everything tense to let a little thing like therapeutic exercises stop me. There has been a benefit, though – I am thinking more and more about whether my mouth is tense. Am I clenching my jaw? Am I holding my breath like I’m a small critter who needs to be quiet to avoid being eaten? I intend to keep doing these exercises daily, because I’m hopeful the increased mindfulness will eventually solve this problem for me.


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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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