Prior to our current illness, I had been studying martial arts. (I doubt I'll return as this is the 2nd time I've quit because of cancer). While I sometimes question my ability to use the techniques I've learned in real world situations, there's one I find myself using all the time: Controlled Breathing
I wanted to share this basic breathing technique because I find that it does relax me whenever I'm feeling really anxious. I've used it at work prior to giving important presentations, I use it to steady myself for photos when I don't have a tripod, and of course, I've used it a ton these past few months to deal with the stresses of a sick spouse. It's a meditative technique, but there's no need to sit in any funky positions. I practice this breathing while driving (eyes open!), sitting, walking, biking, etc.. you name it. My wife even used it when she gave birth to our first born.
Here it is...
1. Using your stomach/diaphragm muscles, breathe in slowly through your nose and fill your lungs as much as you can.
2. Hold it for a second or two.
3. Exhale steady and slowly through your mouth. Try to prolong the exhale for as long as you can.