by Bonnie Bennet, ACMHC
As we introduce you to our first blog, Counseling For Success understands and is here for you as we face an unthinkable time in our history. It is common for these negative emotions to come forward and add some unwelcome chaos or try to take over our lives. Worry, fear, anxiety, and the effects of isolation are very real. In a time when we are supposed to keep safe social distancing, how does one meet with a therapist? We are still meeting people in office where we provide masks and are cleaning surfaces every hour. We also have introduced a HIPAA compliant system that allows the therapist and client to have a session via video. The Telehealth video is simple to navigate, as a client all you have to do is click on a link that the therapist sends you for the session; you are then connected and can see one another.
Although the face to face is through a screen, the therapists at Counseling For Success will do everything they can to demonstrate the same type of empathy, caring, and support that you would get if you were sitting in their office. Do you just need someone to talk? Or is it time to work through some trauma that is creating some issues in your life? Or is it time to update some old coping skills that just aren’t working anymore? We want to listen and hold a spot for you on this journey. We want to be there with gentle guidance and empathy. Our therapists have a variety of trainings; give us a call and see what we can do to help you.
Let us look at a wonderful coping skill to help with anxiety. 4x4 breathing is used by first responders in order to help keep calm as they deal with every day trauma. The breathing technique, which is a form of diaphragmatic breathing, when done properly activates the Vegusstoff “Vegus” nerve that weaves through your entire body, but especially through your organs. The Vegus nerve releases acetylcholine, which acts as a sort of tranquilizer to the nervous system and slows your heart rate down, easing some of your symptoms of anxiety.
Here are the steps to doing the 4X4 breathing:
1) Breath in slowly through your nose while you count to four; pushing your belly out as far as it goes (the goal is to fill all of your lungs with air and flatten your diaphragm)
2) Hold the breath to the count of four
3) Exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of four
4) Repeat four times.
You may feel dizzy at first, especially if you have been anxious for a long period. It is recommended that you use this tool every day in order to master this skill and you will find that you do not get as dizzy and the technique does become easier.
May I suggest you also check out our FaceBook page as well as we are open to ideas about issues or topics you would like to know more about.