The GIF was first posted by Dr. Christina Hibbert, a clinical psychologist and author of several books.
I’m not sure if it helps with anxiety, but it’s quite satisfying to watch – over and over again. It starts out as a simple line, then blooms into a triangle, then a square, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon and octagon.
MNN reached out to Hibbert and asked her about the GIF. She says the key is in syncing your breath with it:
“[I]t works because it forces us to slow down our breath. When it comes to anxiety, one major problem is the tendency to breathe in shorter, shallow breaths, versus deep breathing. Deep breathing, which this image promotes, requires us to slow down, extend our inhale and exhale, and bring more oxygen to our brain and body. This can help calm and relax us … When we slow down, breathe deeply, and really focus on the breath, like this image helps us to do, we find we are refreshed and ready to go back to whatever life is handing us with a renewed energy and peace. Finally, when we’re anxious, we are usually thinking about anything but the present moment. Breathing with this image forces us to focus on what’s happening right now — the breath — and that takes us out of our head and our worries.”
Give it a shot and let us know how it works and if it helps you!