Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Certified Transformational and Recovery Coach. She is the author of “The Law of the Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery” and the creator of wake up recovery. She is the go to expert on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Pinsky and media expert on CNN, HLN, Showbiz Tonight, The Bio Channel, Inside Edition, and E!News. Go to www.wakeuprecovery.com and get your free audio mediation download and/or sign up here for her free preview Out of the Box Recovery call. http://www.wakeuprecovery.com/outside-the-box-recovery-call/ – See more at:http://www.sherrygaba.com/blog/why-i-created-wake-up-recovery1#sthash.GRcWLjOn.dpuf
Sometimes when people are walking their pathway toward recovery from an addiction they tend to look only towards the big picture. This means that they miss out on the small details that can help in the day to day issues that everyone faces when making life changes. One of the most overlooked aspects of personal care in recovery is managing the stress, anxiety and inner tension that can be triggered by any number of given events and situations.
Let’s look at this in a step by step fashion. Understanding your options to relax using controlled breathing is a major breakthrough for most people and it all starts with being mindful of changes that occur in your body when you are put in a stressful or anxiety provoking situation.
Step 1 Understanding Relaxed Breathing
The first step in being able to know when you are reaching a level of stress or anxiety that is problematic is to first know how your body acts in a relaxed and stress free state. To do this take a few minutes when you are not frustrated, worried or tense and close your eyes. Feel the way that your breathing pattern naturally occurs. Visualize the air moving into your nose, through your airways and into your lungs. Notice how your lungs expand in inhalation and contract when you exhale. Your breathing is deep and long and very soothing.
Step 2 Learn How To Take A Complete Breath
In “The Law of Sobriety” I provide a detailed explanation of taking a complete breath, also known as Pranayama. Start by lying down with your eyes and mouth closed one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose and feel your lungs and chest expand. Hold the breath for a moment and breathe out feeling the lungs empty. Hold this for a second and then breathe in again. By increasing the duration of inhalation with relation to holding and exhaling you can increase your energy levels. Exhaling slowly and longer will increase your feelings of relaxation.
Step 3 Breathe With Mindfulness
Once you have practiced complete breaths in a quiet location you can start to use the technique anywhere. When you notice your breathing patterns change to become quicker and shallower you will recognize that is a sign that you are starting to feel anxious, nervous or stressed. When this happens you can immediately practice complete breathing to provide natural stress relief. This, in turn, allows you time to stop, think and relax, assisting you to continue on the positive path to recovery from any type of addiction.