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How to Decrease Anxiety Using Somatic Experiencing [Video]

How to Decrease Anxiety with Somatic Experiencing (Transcript)

Somatic experiencing is a form of therapy that is a mindful skill set in tracking sensations in the body. The way to do that, accompanied by mindful breath work, is to initially get yourself grounded in a comfortable position (chair or couch). Set your feet nice and flat on the ground, with your lower and upper back squared away against the chair. Relax your arms, shoulders, and neck. Rest your arms on your thighs so that you are in a lined position to enhance normal, mindful breathing. Once you’re in a squared away position, begin to breathe normally; normal inhales and exhalations in the upper chest, lung, and heart area. Focus on where the anxiety is in the body.

How to Decrease Anxiety?

What you’ll find, classically with anxiousness, is fluttering in the chest, butterflies in the stomach, tense shoulders and neck, clenched jaw, or shaky legs. Wherever the anxiety is in the body, you want to localize and identify where it is, and bring the breath to that specific area. For example, if what you’re finding is some anxiousness and fluttering in the chest, sit in your squared away position, bring your breath (simple inhales and exhales) into the upper chest area. You may also want to enhance that by connecting physically to the anxiety and the area to where the constriction is. Bring your own touch to that area as a form of self-care and self-regulation.Practice these steps:

  1. You’re in a grounded position;
  2. Identify where the localized area is;
  3. Bring your intention, breath, focus and contact to that area.

Give yourself 30 seconds in that position of grounded focus, intention, and contact, and you will begin to see what happens. Give yourself a minute in that experience. 9 times out of 10, people say that the constricted location starts to open up and dissipate. You’re using the medium of the body, the strength of the body, and its grounded-ness, to move irritability and anxiousness down through the system.

Somatic Experiencing can help you to learn how to decrease anxiety. If you’re interested in learning how somatic experiencing can help with pain and addiction, read this blog.

Richard Cino, LCSW-R - NYC Therapist

Richard Cino, LCSW-R - NYC Therapist

Psychotherapist at myTherapyNYC
Offers individual and couples counseling. He specializes in addiction, sexual addiction, depression and anxiety.
Richard Cino, LCSW-R - NYC Therapist

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4 replies
  1. Omar
    Omar says:

    This is great Rich! I will DEFINITELY be using this with clients in my own sessions as well as taking more time for myself to use this technique.

    Reply
  2. Cate
    Cate says:

    Thanks for posting! I think you provided the perfect amount of direction and information to describe this fantastic technique. Very informative and interesting.

    Reply

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