Just Breathe vs. Just Be
“Just Breathe.” We’ve all heard it and probably said it to someone. Maybe you tell yourself this sometimes? Quite frankly it is one of my pet peeves when I’m struggling with anxiety and somebody tells me to just breathe as if I am consciously making the choice not to breathe. Trust me, if I could “just breathe” I would. It’s not always that simple.
Just Be seems to be a more effective strategy for me when dealing with anxiety. It tends to help me acknowledge my feelings and embrace the struggle. During panic attacks I tell myself that I’m going to be in this moment and that it’s going to be hard, but it will be over soon.
If you are a family member or friend to someone who suffers from anxiety you can use this strategy too. Just be in the moment with the person suffering. You don’t always have to say things like just breathe or it’ll be okay. Typically, I prefer if you don’t. Hold your loved one, hug them while they cry, and just be in the moment with them. I’m not saying the Just Be strategy works better for everyone, but if you, or someone you love, is struggling it is an approach to try.
Acknowledging our feelings can be difficult because socially we are always taught to hide them, but just be encourages us to embrace and acknowledge the struggle. Just breathe focuses on the moment being over and everything being okay, sometimes making me feel ashamed for having a moment of sadness or struggle. It’s human to feel sad, hurt, and all these emotions that tend to have a negative connotation. Your feelings are valid. Your struggle is real. You are strong. Just be.
For more resources about mental health please visit Anxiously Awake.
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