Anxiety is common in our society – our sky-high expectations of ourselves coupled with stressful jobs and busy social lives mean that we’re dealing with more potential stressors than ever. Many people who suffer from anxiety do so in silence, not knowing that their peers and colleagues are facing the same challenges every day.
For years, I suffered from a mysterious illness. Before flights or long journeys, I would be plagued with bouts of incredible stomachache, diarrhea and vomiting. These disabling symptoms led me into a negative thought spiral. Why I was so ill? I hated being the sick person on holiday that didn’t want to drink or eat and spent most of my time off in the bathroom.
Coming back to work was another ordeal – I always needed an extra day or two off to recover, which always raised questions. Even after seeking medical attention from GPs, I still had no idea what was wrong with me.
If only I knew then, what I know now – all of these symptoms were caused by anxiety. That’s why I want to share as much information as I can about these extremely common conditions, as well as some great tips I’ve collected to deal with anxiety.
Sheetali breathing reduces blood pressure and cools the internal body. This pranayama is a lifesaver for people who get anxious – using this breathing as a first response to anxiety can significantly relieve feelings of stress and worry. If you already have low blood pressure, this pranayama is not for you.
How To Use Sheetali Breathing
A few rounds (approx. 20-40 reps) of cooling breathing every morning will reduce anxiety for the long term, cool an irritable stomach and even help with diarrhoea.
Here’s a simple guide:
- Sit or stand in a comfortable position.
- Choose your tongue position – there are 3 techniques – rolling the tongue, lightly clenching your front teeth together or lightly clenching your teeth with your tongue held in between your teeth. Do whichever one your prefer!
- Suck air in through your teeth/tongue, and exhale through your nose.
- Repeat 20 to 40 times to get the cooling, calming effect of this breathing.
If you have a question regarding this, please drop me a line.