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Be Still…

I frequently sit with clients who are struggling with anxiety. They find themselves wrestling with worry, a mind that won’t shut off, difficulty sleeping, and even physical symptoms (heart palpitations, sweating, restlessness, tense muscles, and irritability).  Many of these clients live in a constant state of stress or tension that takes a toll on their emotional and physical well-being.

One thing I often encourage my clients to do when struggling with anxiety is to take time to still themselves and learn to breathe and be quiet.  By placing ourselves in this space several times a day, for as little as 10 minutes at a time, our bodies begin to return to a healthier state, both emotionally and physically.  As this happens, we become more aware of our bodies’ signals and can learn to still our minds and bodies when these waves of anxiety hit.

One exercise I like is deep, controlled breathing paired with reciting a verse

Deep breathing:

  1. Begin by taking a deep breath in as you count to 4, slowly:   1..…2…..3..…4…..
  2. Next, breathe out slowly to the count of 4:  1…..2…..3…..4…..
  3. Finally, hold for a count of 4:  1…..2…..3…..4….. (or, alternatively, recite a verse or calming phrase)

Below is a verse that I find helpful, especially if you slowly back out the words to a place of simply being still. Try reciting a line as you pause in step 3 of your breathing exercise.  Go through steps 1-3 in the breathing  exercise, so as to repeat one line of the verse one time with each pause, but for 5-10 repetitions (of steps 1-3) before moving on to the next line.

Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God…

Be still and know that I am…

Be still and know…

Be still…

Be…

 

Breathe… and be still.