Coping made easy

A Guide for Coping

It may seem obvious to breathe as a part of coping…

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It may seem obvious to breathe as a part of coping but the truth is we forget sometimes. Think of the phrase “it took my breath away.” At times of stress – caused by anything from being with someone very special and having an intense moment of intimacy to almost being hit by a bus – we stop breathing for a moment. We also breathe more shallowly or less often when under pressure and can sometimes hyperventilate, breathing faster and more deeply as well. Any of these ways of breathing can cause stress on our bodies and make it difficult to cope well and relax. So focusing on our breath is great coping. We breathe, trying to be aware of the breath coming in and going out. It is also good to breathe with a relaxed rhythm and into our abdomens so that we can see them expand as we breathe in and contract as we breathe out. This is portable coping we can take with us and do anywhere and has the added benefit of being good for our health.

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Author: Dr. Ann Goelitz

Dr. Goelitz is a writer and a scholar with a wide scope of clinical experience, ranging from working with trauma survivors after September 11th to her role as a psychiatric social worker at a top New York hospital. For the past ten plus years, she has specialized in her private practice on cognitive behavioral therapy, dream analysis, and EMDR, helping clients navigate transitions and heal from trauma and loss. A seasoned educator, she has done extensive public speaking, published numerous articles, and co-authored an award winning resource directory for caregivers. Her soon-to-be published book, From trauma to healing, has received endorsement and accolades from leaders in the field of trauma. Her latest writing projects include a book on how to cope with stress written with both laypeople and professionals in mind. She has taught at Columbia University and Hunter College.

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