There are many possible causes for the neurotransmitter imbalances that can lead to the symptoms associated with trichotillomania, including increased urges to pull. Some of these causes we can’t control, including genetic susceptibility. However, one of the most common causes of neurotransmitter imbalance that we can control is the impact that stress has on us. While we don’t have complete control over all the stressors in our lives, we can learn how to mitigate the negative impact that those stressors have on our health. In particular, we have found deep breathing techniques and relaxation therapy to help with trichotillomania.
Relaxation Therapy and Deep Breathing Techniques for Trichotillomania
Everybody is stressed; most people know that stress negatively impacts their health, but very few people experience stress the way people with trichotillomania experience stress. It is not at all uncommon for a person with trichotillomania to have dramatically increased urges to pull during and after periods of acute and chronic stress. We have seen people undo weeks, months and sometimes even years of progress (i.e., hair, eyelash and/or eyebrow growth) in one sitting during and/or after a period of intense stress. The really nasty part about this is that the neurotransmitter imbalances initiated by these stressful events can affect a person with trich for days and even weeks or months after the stressors are resolved. This can often make a person with trichotillomania feel hopeless.
But there is hope.
While you are not going to breathe your way out of trich, you can significantly reduce the negative impact stress has on you and dramatically reduce your urges to pull over time by incorporating some relaxation therapy into your daily routine. The easiest way for most people to do this is through deep breathing. Here are some simple deep breathing techniques that we have used successfully for trichotillomania:
Sigh of Relief
- Close your eyes
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nostrils. While inhaling, picture relaxation, happiness, and peace entering or flowing into you. You may enjoy imagining a cool, soothing color like blue flowing in to soothe you.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds, and then exhale very slowly through your mouth. As you do so, imagine all of your tension, fear, or anger being released and blown away.
- Repeat as often as needed.
1 To 8 Count Breathing
- Close your eyes.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nostrils. As you do so, imagine the number 1 clearly in your mind. See it printed large and bold.
- Exhale slowly and completely through your nostrils. As you do this, see the number 2 boldly in your mind.
- Inhale again and see the number 3.
- Continue this exercise to the count of 8. Inhale and exhale very slowly.
- Repeat this sequence as often as needed during the day.
Incorporating these breathing techniques for trichotillomania into your daily routine will help lessen your urges to pull. Combined with amino acid therapy, these relaxation therapies can be a great help for those with trichotillomania and can help you eliminate the urges to pull.