Breathing Panic Attacks 

Breathing Panic Attacks

Breathing Panic Attacks

Anxiety attacks take over the body and mind and create a state of lack of control and fear.

Sometimes it feels like  we're going mad and sometimes we even think we are going to die.

But if we can see the approach of an anxiety attack, recognise it for what it is, remain calm and think rationally we can reduce the effects or even stop it before it really takes hold. 

Smart girls know Anxiety attacks are no joke. 

When one starts to build, it feels as though there is no where to hide.

Sometimes even the fear of experiencing an attack in public is enough to bring one on.

Stop an anxiety attack before it starts.

Or at least allow it to pass in a calmer, controlled and less distressing way.

So shallow breathing is part of the typical anxiety and stress result caused by the fight or flight response.

And one of the most effective ways to counteract the stress response can be by taking time and learning how to relax.

When a person is relaxed they are in the opposite state from the fight or flight stress response, here they breathe through their nose in a slow, even and gentle way. So by deliberately copying a relaxed breathing pattern we can calm the nervous system that controls the body’s involuntary functions.

Controlled breathing can cause physiological changes that include:

  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Reduced levels of stress hormones in the blood
  • Reduced lactic acid build-up in muscle tissue
  • Balanced levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood
  • Improved immune system functioning
  • Increased physical energy
  • Increased feelings of calm and wellbeing.

When you hyperventilate, it often feels as though you aren't getting enough oxygen. But the reality is that you are actually getting too much oxygen, and your carbon dioxide levels are too low.

Try the following:

How it Works: Cup your hands over your mouth and breathe slowly. You can also try using a small paper bag. The idea is to prevent the expulsion of carbon dioxide and get it back into your lungs so that you regain the balance of Co2 in your system. Hold it over your face when you breathe, and keep breathing as you would normally to regain your carbon dioxide levels.

How to improve Breathing- Diaphragmatic or Belly Breathing

To breathe properly, you need to use your diaphragm, the large sheet-like muscle that lies at the bottom of the chest cavity. 

  • Sit comfortably or lie on your back on the floor. Place your left hand on your upper chest and your right hand on your abdomen, in the 'gap' of your rib cage.
  • When you breathe in and out, your left hand should remain still and only your right hand should move up and down. If your left hand is moving, your breathing is too shallow and you are not using your diaphragm as you should.
  • Try to alter your breathing so only your right hand moves as you do so. 

Your hands will tell you if you're doing this correctly or not. Where is the muscular movement of the breathing? You want it to occur at your stomach; your upper body should be relatively still. If you feel movement in your chest, or notice your head and shoulders moving upwards, start again at Step 1, and practice getting the motion down to your stomach.

There are other breathing strategies you can try as well. For example, some people prefer to add a mental distraction to their breathing exercises to take their mind off their panic. You may try to:

  • Imagine yourself tracing a square in your mind and inhaling/exhaling every time you turn a corner.  
  • Imagine blowing on a candle, except rather than try to blow it out, you try to blow it just softly enough that it dances around.

If you are feeling deeply unhappy, desperate or out-of-control, Hypnosis 4 smart girls is not what you need at this time. Don't suffer in silence, speak to someone; trusted friend, colleague, family member or G.P. However bleak things seem, help is out there for you so please keep looking. Click here for suggestions of where to start.

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