Dental Fear and Anxiety - Tip 3: Easy Breathing for Relaxation

The 7:11 Breathing Pattern

Whether you are thinking about making an appointment, you are in the waiting room or in the chair many people find that the easiest way to relax is to concentrate on their own breathing.
It is a special type of breathing, not into your chest but deep into your tummy or diaphragm which is below your chest. Experience this now.
Sit down and close your eyes for a little while. Just become aware of your breathing. Make sure you are sitting or lying in a comfortable position with your hands resting in your lap or by your side and your legs un-crossed.
Concentrate on being aware of your feet on the floor, your arms, legs, head wherever they are resting.
Make each out breath last longer than the in breaths. This causes stimulation of the part of your nervous system responsible for relaxation. This is a basic law of biology and if you breathe in this way then your body will have no choice but to relax.
Your body will respond regardless of what your mind is thinking.
Now count to 7 as you breathe in and 11 as you breathe out, concentrate on counting to keep your mind focused, welcome the sense of calm gradually flowing in.
Do this 10-20 times knowing you will relax more with each breath.

It may be a little difficult at first and you may like someone to guide you through it until you are familiar with it, but doing this regularly causes your general anxiety level to come down. You may also find that you begin to breathe this way automatically if you feel anxious. Regular relaxation actually starts to inhibit the production of stress hormones in the body so it actually becomes harder and harder to panic. As you become more generally relaxed the 'baseline' of arousal from which you are starting lowers. It actually becomes harder to get stressed!
You can gain much more control over panic attacks.


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