Buteyko for Stress & Anxiety Relief

Why You Can’t Kick Your Anxiety

September 1, 2018  |  BY CARLY WOODS

Anxiety. Hot flushes, racing heart beat, relentless thoughts clanging and clamouring.


Do you know these feelings?


I do. I had chronic anxiety for over 10 years.  It’s no fun.


I suffered the most from medical anxiety, and safety related anxiety. I truly believed that my life was teetering on a precarious edge, daily.  There seemed to be no escape from the constant reminders of debilitating illnesses I could develop, or dangers of toxins, pollutants, and contaminants that I could be exposed to. I felt uncertainty, fear, and doubt most days. Health felt fleeting, and no matter how careful I was - hand-washing, food storage, personal products, diet - I felt that my wellbeing was out of my control. I kept trying to grab at it, thinking it wasn't really there, feeling like I had a system that couldn't handle the onslaughts of modern life. 


It sounds pretty dramatic, but I often struggled with the idea of my imminent, painful death. Would I die a slow death, riddled with all the problems that might be compounding inside of me? Or would I be attacked somewhere in the city and die quickly in a ditch somewhere?  I was entirely trapped in the spirals of my own mind. That was just a regular Thursday.

You can survive for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without your breath

I was entirely trapped in the spirals of my own mind

I remember my partner arriving home to me, in the years that were the worst, and sharing with her that ‘amazingly I had not died yet’ due to whatever the flavour of the medical anxiety of the day was.  Her response, loving, but not fully understanding of the gravity of my peril, became a common saying between us.


‘It’s a Christmas miracle!’ She would reply. I laughed on the outside.  I could absolutely see how irrational I was being on the outside. But on the inside I could was a bit out of control.


I, a studying naturopath, had adjusted all sorts of things in my environment to support my health - my diet, lifestyle, toxin-load, considered product use, nature time, and I was beginning to dive into mindset rehab (more on that later).  With all these consciously self regulating disciplines holding my edges, why was I still anxious? I had everything in my toolkit to craft a healthy, full life. WHY was my anxiety still there and seeming to get worse?

Perhaps this critical component to our moment to moment aliveness is worth our attention after all.

Maybe this is something you can relate to. Maybe you’ve tried counselling, medicines, meditation, exercise, lifestyle adjustments (lights, noise, senses), moving house, moving partner, moving on. But still the black dog follows.


There are a bunch of aspects to consider to bring harmony and balance to our being. It’s like a health orchestra - we are thrillingly complex little things, and it can take a wide approach to hit all the right notes and finally feel balanced.


But guess what, there was one major chord that I was missing from my melody - my orchestra was limping. And likely you’re not aware of it either.




I mean, I had so meticulously considered my diet, my lifestyle, my environment, my nutritious movement, my sleep rhythms, but I had NEVER considered my breath. Most people don’t. It’s not something we hear about in terms of maximising our health. Breath seems to be more of an ethereal, spiritual component that we just sort of toss by the wayside and forget about.


You can survive for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without your breath.


Perhaps this critical component to our moment to moment aliveness is worth our attention after all?


That’s when I came across Buteyko Breath Therapy. It’s revolutionised my mental health. I’ve kicked my anxiety.  I feel so FREE from my own mind! I feel properly alive and joyfully functional. I watch myself constantly overcoming the challenges that before would have had me in a panic spiral on my living room floor.


And I am super-duper keen to share it all with you.


In my next blog post I’ll share with you the Panic Relief Sequence - my go-to, practical, easy, quick Buteyko breath technique that you can use on yourself any time you’re feeling the hot threads of anxiety or stress starting to sear over your body and cloud your mind.

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Carly Woods

Carly is a Naturopath and Buteyko Practitioner in Melbourne, Australia.  She is the founder of Breath Reset  - a Buteyko centric breath retraining company.  Carly is passionate about helping people find relief from chronic conditions using the Buteyko method.

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