Breathing to calm down
For cases of depression or anxiety, the first work that needs to be done is to help the clients to relax. Relaxation is an enemy of depression or anxiety. When the client is relaxed, the client is not in "fight or flight mode, " a natural survival instinct when faced with danger. There are many ways to relax. The easiest way to relax would be controlled breathing. The clients are taught to breathe in a way that signals to the brain that the person is not facing any danger and the "fight or flight" response is not needed. To calm down quickly, the inhalation of air should be shorter than the exhalation of air. Personally, when I am breathing to calm down, I will inhale to a quick count of three and then exhale to a quick count of five. Some clients prefer a quick count of seven to inhale and a quick count of eleven to exhale. There is no hard and fast rule here; whatever works for the person is good. The brain quickly calms down, and the person will find themselves thinking better about how to deal with the challenges on hand. I encourage the clients to incorporate breathing as part of the self-care regime.