Our breathing changes as our thoughts, feelings and behaviour change. As we become worried, excited, elated, depressed or aroused, our breathing becomes shorter, jerkier, longer, deeper, shallower or smoother. What if the reverse were true? What if our breathing could change our thoughts, feelings and behaviour? What if breathing the right way meant more personal excellence and less anxiety and anger?
I mentioned in my previous article on social anxiety that it was important to get as grounded as possible. When we feel anxious we tend to breathe more quickly and less fully. As a result we can become heady and have physical symptoms such as feeling dizzy, spaced out or numb. Consequently we no longer feel balanced and find it difficult to get in touch with other more supportive states that counter the anxious thoughts for example excitement, curiosity or confidence. Grounding involves being more in our bodies and less in our heads.
Social anxiety is the inner voice that tells us, whilst we are in, or are contemplating being in a social situation, that we are not good enough, not interesting enough, that others are judging us negatively. It can be accompanied by shyness however we can have social anxiety without being shy. This critical inner voice can become so insistent and powerful that it builds a wall between the other/s and us, and we are no longer fully present and available to engage freely with them.