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In this week's podcast we're responding to the following question: "How do you do the breathing exercises when you hyperventilate when anxious?"
Here are three things to try when anxiety makes you hyperventilate and you want to calm your breathing down:
1. Focus on Your Out Breath
If you are hyperventilating due to anxiety - now is not the time to be practising set breathing exercises.
Instead, bring your attention to your outgoing breath. Don’t try forcing yourself into a breathing pattern or trying to take slow breaths in, just breathe out in a long slow exhalation.
You might find it helpful to count as you do this.
Then, let your breathing continue at it's own pace and catch the next out breath when you can and push it out in a long slow sigh.
Keep your attention on your out breath until your breathing begins to calm down.
2. Use Breathing Exercises When You Aren’t Anxious
Try a guided breathing practice at a time when your anxiety is not running so high and you are not hyperventilating.
Guided breathing exercises are particularly helpful because you can follow along with the recording step-by-step this helps you build familiarity and confidence with the technique as you go.
The Bumble Bee Breath is very good for calming anxiety and a good exercise to start with.
By practising when your anxiety is not at it’s highest you can help yourself get used to using your breath to relax your body and calm your anxiety at quieter times and these practice sessions will help to reduce your overall anxiety.
3. As an Alternative or Addition to Breathing Exercises - Try The Quick Anxiety Stopper
The Quick Anxiety Stopper is a sequence of three acupressure points that you can tap to reduce high anxiety states. It’s very effective for calming anxiety attacks where your breathing and heart are racing.
Listen to the full podcast here:
Related posts you might find helpful:
Podcast: How to use yoga breathing exercises to feel calm
Breathing Exercises for Anxiety Download