Has this ever happened to you?
There you are at work, waiting for clients to show up or a meeting to begin. You're a bit anxious because you want things to go well. All of a sudden, you feel a few little spasms in your abdomen that tell you the dreaded STOMACH CRAMPS from stress are on their way. You know those stomach cramps. They start out as a little twinge and end up making you wish you’d never been born.
You have a horrible vision of greeting your clients, then having a big attack of stomach spasms, trying not to double over in pain. Or maybe you'll have to rush off to the bathroom while they check their watches, wondering what the heck is taking so long. Definitely NOT the way to impress them.
Now you feel even more anxiety! On top of work stress, you have gastro-stress to deal with, not to mention possible gas, pain and embarrassment.
Wouldn't it be great to be calm? But when you're stressed, your heart is pounding and your gut starts to churn, it's pretty hard to relax.
Here's what you can do to stop stress-based stomach cramps and gas from taking over. It takes only a couple of minutes and it works.
This is a breathing technique that slows down your heart rate so you feel calm and peaceful. Then your stomach cramps from stress melt away. Professional speakers with stage fright use this technique just before they go onstage.
Here’s how you do it:
1) Take a deep breath in through your nose
2) Hold it for a 3 or 4 seconds
3) Let it out s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y through your mouth, then...
Continue for AT LEAST ten inhales and exhales. If you just do it once, it won't have much effect. Breathe in to a count of 4 or 5, and out to a count of 8 or 10. Or more.
On the long exhale, to make it to a count of 10 and get all the air out, you may have to pull your stomach muscles in for the last few counts.
While you're doing the breathing, focus your mind on relaxing thoughts. Your thoughts are extremely powerful and will create either stress and anxiety or calmness and confidence for you. Think about the BEST possible outcome and focus on that.
Or just witness yourself being stressed. Meditation experts say that when you simply watch yourself being anxious and feeling stressed WITHOUT JUDGMENT, the stress will go away all by itself. It's as if you are standing outside of yourself, watching yourself having a meltdown and thinking, "Oh, there she is, being all stressed again."
Even if you think this breathing technique is not working at first, keep going! Suddenly you'll realize you feel calm and relaxed and your stomach cramps from stress are gone.
Why does this technique work?
When you're stressed, you tend to breathe shallowly or hold your breath. This makes your stress worse. At the same time, your amygdala, a part of your brain that helps you survive, sets off alarm bells because it senses approaching danger (your clients.) Your digestion goes haywire in response to these emergency signals from your brain.
To calm down the amygdala and stop those unwanted emergency signals from causing digestive distress, the breathing technique works like a charm.
So try it the next time you feel those stomach cramps from stress bringing on their spasms and gas. It's great when you're in public and need a discreet remedy. I've even heard that some public speakers use this technique in the middle of a talk to calm their nerves and their heart rate! No one notices. They just pause for a few seconds to take one deep breath and then let it out slowly. Ahhh! Sweet relaxation....
You can also use EFT tapping on your stomach cramps to quickly eliminate spasms, pain and symptoms. Here's a video that shows you how to tap for anxiety. When Kathy says, "Even though I'm feeling anxious..." you can substitute, "Even though I have stomach cramps..." or "Even though my stomach is cramping from stress..." or "Even though I'm stressed..." Then when she says "This anxiety" or "I'm feeling anxious", you can say "These stomach cramps" or "I'm feeling stressed." Use the technique and change the words to suit your situation.
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