Breathing Made Easy - To Manage Stress and Reduce Anxiety
- 1.5 hours on-demand video
- 7 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Understand the physiology of breathing and stress.
- Learn a structured exercise to activate diaphragmatic breathing.
- Use a sequential practice to develop the skill in more challenging situations.
- Use signs of stress as cues to relax rather than signals to tense up even further.
Join our community of over 1900 students learning to manage stress better!
Umm, I think I already know how to breathe.
Yes, almost certainly. And you also know that when you are stressed or anxious your breathing changes. These shifts can feed forward and produce additional symptoms of stress, including lightheadedness, dizziness, chest pressure, a tendency to increase muscle tension, and paresthesias (numbness and tingling in the extremities).
The stress response developed to help us cope with marauding tigers, but it also switches on when we're confronted with an angry boss, screaming kids, orthat lookfrom our partner. It produces changes in various parts of our body that we're not used to controlling directly. It would be great to have a handle we could use to ramp stress down - something influenced by stress but over which we also have clear conscious control. That handle is proper breathing.
This course provides instruction in four-stage breathing, an exercise designed to activate the diaphragm, enhance awareness of the distinction between diaphragmatic and intercostal breathing, and provide a strategy you can use to enhance your control over the stress response. You'll start out practicing when you're calm and relaxed, then use it in gradually more difficult situations, until you can practice in the middle of that challenging business meeting - and no one will be the wiser.
You'll get a series of twelve brief lectures, plus downloadable PDF text material on diaphragmatic breathing exercises and how to link your practice to stressful situations.
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- Anyone can learn this skill. Those with asthma or other lung conditions should consult a physician before practicing. Those who have panic attacks are also cautioned that early practice can produce symptoms of anxiety in some individuals.
Welcome to the course. A bit about your instructor, and a rationale for learning to work with one's breathing. Some cautions for those with breathing related disorders.
An introduction to the world's cheapest form of biofeedback: your hands. A two minute exercise to see how you breathe naturally.
The relationship between breathing and stress. Other stress-related symptoms. Why focus on breathing if so many other things are changing too?
Everyone experiences certain repetitive situations that routinely elicit the stress response: arriving at work, attending the monthly meeting, having to talk in front of the condo committee, meeting new people. In this written exercise you list some of the most common situations that stress you out, then select just one or two (to begin with) before which you pledge to practice the breathing skill. Once you are good at these, you can add others.