Acceptance Behaviour Strategies
Don’t ‘TRY’ to RELAX! – just LET GO of any added tension
Apart from the fact that trying to relax actually makes you more tense (like trying to go to sleep) – you don’t NEED to relax – You are in no danger.
Since you probably WILL ‘try’ to relax, just LET GO of any added tension. Imagine you held a sponge scrunched up tight in your hand and you just ‘let go’ of it – it would simply return to its most relaxed state – without TRYING.
Or imagine you are Pinocchio with his ‘strings cut’ – just go floppy – go ‘limp’.
You don’t need to do deep breathing – Just relax your stomach
When someone feels anxious they automatically tense their stomach muscles. Then they either take very shallow breaths which can lead to a feeling of dizziness or they use ‘deep breathing’ to try and ‘calm down’. This can then become a ‘safety behaviour’ which feeds the fear cycle.
If you simply LET GO of any tension in your stomach you will see that your breathing is just fine. Notice the stomach gently rise and fall with each breath.