Being consumed with worry each day can affect one’s overall quality of life. Worry can be described as persistent thoughts about either a real or imagined situation. It can negatively impact one’s emotional and physical health, as well as one’s level of functioning at school or work. Excessive worry is often associated with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Other symptoms of GAD include:
– Feeling keyed up or on edge
– Being easily fatigued
– Difficulty concentrating
– Muscle tension
– Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep)
– In children, physical complaints such as stomachaches or headaches
Slowing down can be challenging while living in a busy city like Philadelphia. Relaxation techniques have been known to alleviate worry and GAD symptoms (Dugas et al., 2010). Deep breathing can be done anytime and anywhere. A quick and simple breathing technique can calm a busy mind, release tension from the body, and in turn, improve one’s daily functioning. The breathing technique below can be performed either sitting or standing.
Counting breathing technique:
– Notice any tension in your body
– Drop your shoulders and relax your jaw
– Inhale slowly through your nose and count to 4
– Hold the breath in for a moment
– Exhale slowly through the mouth and count to 7
– Repeat counting breathing technique for a few minutes
Dugus, M. J., Brillion, P., Savard, P., Turcotte, J., Gaudet, A., Ladouceur, R., . . . Gervais, N. J. (2010). A randomized clinical trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy and applied relaxation for adults with generalized anxiety disorder. Behavioral Therapy, 41, 46-58.
Blog author: Marisol Velez