Guest Blogger: Anneka Maquay
It was a beautiful fall day in October. The year was 2011 and I had a flight to catch home to Kansas City, MO. The energy shifted as I noticed the lines at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, GA were extremely long. If you’ve traveled to or from Atlanta, you innerstand security lines can feel like a horror film causing stress and anxiety. This particular day, I was cast as the Lead Role in this film.. Not sure I would make my flight, I recall an increase in heart rate, shortness of breath, irrational thinking, trembling, shaking and could feel every ounce of stress through my entire body. The idea of actually making it through security alone didn’t feel likely, but I made it through.
Passing through security, I realized I still had a strong 30 minutes before we boarded the. Still in a panic, I was able to call a friend to describe my symptoms, “Why am I shaking and nervous about this flight? I’m extremely scared and not sure what’s happening.” My friend on the other line told me to just STOP and take 3 deep breaths. Whoa! That was it. That's all it took. I immediately felt a sense of ease and slept beautifully on my flight.
A few years later, I took on a job that required lots of my time inclusive of travel and sporadic unscheduled meetings with very little rest. My experience at that job caused some of the same symptoms as my lead role in Flight October 2011. ☺️ Lots of stress, lack of control in situations, tightness in chest and shortness of breath. “Here we go again” I often said “It’s time to go see a doctor”
My appointment was scheduled and I was ready to receive anxiety meds because… what else do you prescribe to someone dealing with anxiety.
Dr. Blakey did his regular tests, checked my vitals and gave me my prescription. A dose of breath. WHAT? Yes. A dose of breath. His response to my anxiety attacks was, “Anneka, you just need to breath”
“Well, I do this every day doc and I still have anxiety!” I responded “No no no Anneka, you need to breathe,yet do it with intention. The next time you feel anxious take a deep breath for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 and let it out in 8”
This experience had to be the most rewarding and inexpensive doctor's visit ever! It was from that moment that I found the most cost-effective, natural remedy to anxiety and stress ever! Who knew that something we practice, unintentionally, would be the solution to internal discomfort.
So the next time you feel a sense of flutter and fear, take a moment to place your hands on the side of your ribs (ladies, think bra strap) and fill your ribs to expand and you inhale for 4 seconds. 1-2-3-4. Hold your breath for 7. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 and exhale feeling your ribs collapse for 8 seconds, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.
Here’s to breathing.. The most rewarding, natural and inexpensive prescription!
Follow Anneka on Instagram @annekamaquay