Do you remember a time when you felt stressed to the max, and someone kindly told you, “Just breathe.” You probably wanted to smack them square on the jaw. Or fling them into the nearest wall.
Friendly advice like this – at the wrong moment – may, in fact, just exacerbate your stress response further. On top of feeling all the amped up, you may then feel belittled, ashamed, or out-of-control too.
Here’s the problem. Once, stress is dialed way up, it’s not that easy to quickly dial it down, especially if you have habitually caved into the stress response. That’s how your brain and body are now wired.