Updated: Mar 23
This is one of my favourite tools I recommend to all my clients. I also use it myself all the time - when I'm driving, when I am out for a walk, shopping, getting ready for meetings. You can use it at home or when you are thinking about the dentist or being at the dentist. It is a very simple practice that can be applied at any time when you are feeling anxious or stressed or just a little tense, and practicing outside the dental setting is as always key for your body and mind to get used to it.
Lengthen your exhale.
As simple as that. Yet, it might take a bit of remembering to get used to.
What to do
The key is of course to first of all notice when you are getting tense, anxious or stressed. Some signs of this: your breathing has shortened, your muscles have tensed up, your focus is "out there".
So when you notice yourself "revving up", the invitation is to simply for every breath you take, focus on lengthening the exhale a little bit with each outbreath. And try to let go, soften and relax as you do so.
This allows for your nervous system get back into balance. And ideally you will slow down your pace in what you are doing (for me: driving a little slower!) to support the settling of your breathing. And then from here, it will be easier to get clear and get back to action - feeling a little calmer, what do you now need to do?