Effective Breathing Exercises To Stop Anxiety And Panic AttacksOn by
Dealing with anxiety is something that can range from mild anxiousness to chronic worry and panic.
Whether it is severe or not, anxiety can be a burden as it interferes with our daily life and makes things seem worse than they are.
A bit of stress is necessary to spur productivity, but too much of it may make us feel overwhelmed, fatigued, and drained.
There are a few strategies that may help you relieve your symptoms of panic and anxiety.
You may be looking for some form of anxiety treatment. Begin with stopping your poor breathing habits to overcoming anxiety completely.
When you are in a state of panic or anxiety, your autonomic nervous system gets affected and alters your breathing patterns. This may result in shallow breathing, over-breathing, or monitored breathing.
Shallow breathing happens when you breathe in and out too quickly, limiting your oxygen supply which will cause you to feel more anxious.
Over-breathing refers to breathing in more air than necessary due to the thought that you are not getting enough oxygen, which may induce panic attacks. This is also known as hyperventilation.
Monitored breathing occurs when you are monitoring your breathing too closely and paying too much attention to it, further inducing excessive and unnecessary worry.
When you are not practicing proper breathing habits, you may experience a few terrifying symptoms. Such symptoms of anxiety attacks could be an accelerated heartbeat and chest pain.
What should you do if you experience these symptoms?
What you would need to do would be to calm yourself down so that you can reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
Breathing exercises are an effective way of controlling and regulating your breathing so that you will have a sufficient intake of oxygen.
Proper breathing has a calming effect on your mind which will help to get rid of your anxiety and worry.
Breathing exercises may not work immediately, but you will feel calmer after a few seconds or minutes, which is one of the quickest ways I’ve managed to recover from getting panic attacks.
I used to distract myself with other thoughts or by watching funny videos, which obviously made me laugh have more difficulty regulating my breathing.
Important note: If your breathing does not regulate after more than 20 minutes, call your doctor immediately.
The Paper Bag Exercise
It is good to store a few paper bags because you never know when you will need them! The paper bag should be long and wide enough for enough air for one breath (the small McDonald’s paper bag works well for me).
The whole concept of doing this is to prevent the expulsion of carbon dioxide from your lungs in order to balance your C02 intake. This method is about re inhaling carbon dioxide so that it reduces the severity of your anxiety attack.
Make sure that the paper bag covers your mouth entirely so that air outside of the paper bag does not enter or exit it. Take a few breaths, both inhaling and exhaling into the paper bag.
Count to 5 while you inhale deeply, and also when you exhale. You can repeat this for about 5 to 10 times before breathing normally without the paper bag. Repeat this process a few times until you feel your breathing slows down.
The Inhale-Hold-Exhale (4-7-8) Exercise
Important note: This exercise is strictly for those without heart conditions.
This 4-7-8 breathing method is one of the most effective in getting rid of panic attacks and hyperventilation. You basically inhale deeply for 4 counts, hold your breath for 7 counts, and exhale for 8 counts.
Inhale and feel your stomach expand before your chest. If you find that holding for breath for 7 seconds or exhaling for 8 seconds is too long, you may want to try holding your breath and exhaling for 5 seconds each.
Works well for me too. Do this for about 10 rounds and you will realize that your heartbeat is forced to slow down and you will feel calmer.
The Deep Breathing Exercise
Taking long deep breaths is also an effective way to relax when you are facing stress or a panic attack.
It involves controlled breathing as you count to 4 slowly as you inhale deeply, and also count to 4 as you exhale slowly. You may repeat this 10 times or more until you feel calmer.
It may be difficult to do breathing exercises, especially when you are in a state of panic.
When practiced over time, you will find that it gets easier and that you are in control of your breathing and anxiety, and that your anxiety does not control you!