I would suggest to lie down on your back or sit up in a chair comfortably. Place the palm of your hands on your lower stomach. Make sure that you can rest if you are sitting up. Focus on your exhales. Make sure your exhale is longer than your inhale. Form a small circle with your lips and blow the air out in a way as though you were going to whistle. You do not need to make the sound, especially if there is someone else next to you.
So take in your breath in normally. Do not take too much in. You do not have to breathe in deeply, because otherwise you could hyperventilate. Focus on a long exhale. The exhale has to be longer than the inhale. And as you exhale, you press gently on your stomach. Do that for a few minutes, or if you are a little bit more impatient, do that for at least 10 long exhales.
And this is the first aid for when you need to soothe your physiological system due to a panic or an anxiety attack. With a panic attack, if you do not have a brown paper bag, you simply inhale and exhale into your palms that you place over your nostrils and your mouth, which recycles the carbon dioxide.
What is happening in this instance is that the alarm system of your brain, which is placed in the limbic center, suddenly becomes alarmed. This happens either through some sort of dream you have or some noise outside. Anything can really trigger it off. So it becomes overactive. Then you need to actually soothe it by making yourself feel a little safer. By placing your hands and pushing gently on your stomach, you are actually activating the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve, the nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system that soothes the limbic system. Also known as the fight or flight survival mechanism.
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