PNI ORG UK's Anxiety Toolkit

Hi everyone

Anxiety can be crippling at times, especially with the pain of Post Natal Illness. Here are some techniques to ease anxiety, which our members have advised on the Forum and found to be great tools to combat anxiety when you need it the most.

Elastic Band Technique

This is great for intrusive thoughts and troubling thought patterns. Wear an elasic band around your wrist. When you feel a thought coming on, pull the elastic band and let go, so it gives you a bit of a shock. This can help the thought to disappear.

Controlled Breathing

This technique is great for combatting anxiety attacks.

Adults tend to breathe through their chests opposed to their stomach’s. If you look at how a baby breathes, only their stomach’s rise. As we grow older, we start holding in our stomach’s etc (women more commonly do this) and as such, we start breathing using our chest and consequently, we stop taking in as much oxygen.

When we have an anxiety atack, we breathe quicker, taking in more carbon dioxide and even less oxygen! Which is why anxiety attacks can be very traumatising.

This technique will help you to breathe properly again, as we did when we were babies… The increase in oxygen will at first make you a little dizzy (hence why it is best to lie down when doing it) but you will soon start to calm down:

1.Find a quiet, comfortable area to sit or lie down

2.With feet slightly apart, place one hand on your abdomen near your navel and place the other hand on your chest

3.Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth

4.Concentrate on your breathing as it connects to your hands

5.Inhale while counting to four. As the air flows gently into your lungs, slightly extend your abdomen, causing it to rise (but don’t push it out) while keeping the shoulders and chest still

6.Pause for one second then slowly exhale to a count of four. As you exhale, your abdomen should move inward

7.Repeat the process for as long as you need to.

If you have any suggestions and / or techniques to relieve anxiety when it hurts the most, please email us at admin@pni.org.uk and we will look at getting it added to the site.

2 Replies

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  • I have to say that the controlled breathing technique for me really really worked and I still use it now in stressful situations! Fab advice Nat x

  • Controlled breathing was and is a massive help to me when I'm anxious too :) xxx

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