Alleviating Anxiety: Bowing Down to the Breath

December 1, 2014 1:52 PM

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I wake with something akin to a full impact collision. When I check my clock, I see that it's 4:45 in the morning. In the space of 30 seconds, my mind has turned from dream state to checklists, my heartbeat jumping from resting to I've-just-sprinted-up-four-flights-of-stairs. My skin begins tingling and then itching, mostly in my forearms, my neck and face. These are the warning signs I've honed in on ever since I had my first (and still, thankfully, only) anxiety attack over eight months ago. I lie back on my pillows, close my eyes, and focus on my breathing.

It is the season of giving thanks, and I find myself acknowledging a great many things in my life: people and experiences too special to call anything but gifts. But it is also a season of busyness and stress, of impending year-end deadlines and holiday gatherings, of adjustment to winter and dark d...

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