By Ben Schoeffler
If you have generalized anxiety, panic attacks or stage fright, I’d like to teach you this technique I developed called “5 and 10 Panic Break” It’s based off of mindfulness combined with putting pressure on the Vagus nerve cluster. That is one of the primary nerves that controls your parasympathetic nervous system. That’s the system that brings you from “fight or flight” into the “rest and digest” phase of healing. The ‘mindful’ breathing can be learned with a short mp3 I give my clients (it’s about 5 minutes long). Relax and enjoy.
You can use this whenever you feel like you are building up too much stress, anxiety, and panic in your life. It combines mindfulness with a physical action to chemically bring your body back into alignment.
You can listen along here:
Begin by standing up straight, or sitting up straight in a chair. In a moment you will begin focusing on your breathing and count five inhalations and exhalations. Go ahead now and start bringing your focus and attention to your breathing. Allow your breath to be comfortable, regular, and smooth as you anchor yourself to this present moment. At the end of each exhalation, count that as one breath. Continue you breathing, focusing, and counting until you reach 5 breaths.
On your sixth inhalation, take in a deep breath and hold it. Next, ‘bear down’ for 10 seconds like you are having a bowel movement. This is the action which puts pressure on the Vagus nerve and activates your sympathetic nervous system. After 10 seconds has elapsed, exhale and begin mindfully breathing normally again for 5 more breaths.
Continue this cycle of breathing for 5 breaths, and bearing down for 10 seconds, for at least three cycles. You can do more if needed.
After you are finished, notice how you feel. Notice that your body is full of life giving oxygen, you have more emotional space, and the chemicals in your brain and body are now moving back to balance.