Ease Your Anxiety With Abdominal Breathing

The way you breathe directly reflects the amount of tension you feel in your  body. When you are relaxed you are breathing deeply from low down in your  abdomen, however when you are feeling tense your breathing will become quicker  and will be shallow, emanating from your chest area.

If you have an anxiety disorder, suffer from phobias or panic you will have a  tendency to suffer one or both of the following breathing problems.

  • Shallow, chest breathing
  • Fast breathing, hyperventilation – this is where you breath out too much  carbon dioxide which can in turn give rise to symptoms associated with panic  disorder

 

Shallow or chest level breathing is very common in people who are anxious or  fearful. A shy or introverted person will breathe in this way whilst amongst a  group of people for instance whilst an extrovert will feel more relaxed and  hence breathing will be slower and from the abdomen. Rapid breathing from the  chest will lead to hyperventilation which in turn will bring on a number of  symptoms including dizziness, palpitations or rapid heartbeat and tingling  sensations in the toes and fingers.

The time-honoured cure for hyperventilation is breathing into a paper bag. By  breathing in this way you take in more carbon dioxide which corrects the  imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Abdominal breathing is  equally effective in reducing the symptoms of hyperventilation, both theses  methods work by slowing down the rate of breathing which in turn stops too much  carbon dioxide being exhaled.

By learning to recognize the onset of hyperventilation and then deliberately  slowing your breathing down you will dramatically reduce your risk of having a  panic or anxiety attack.

If your anxiety disorder is causing you to breathe as described above then  you will find practicing abdominal breathing on a daily basis will help in  retraining yourself to breathe correctly which will in turn help bring relief  from anxiety and panic disorder.

The benefits of abdominal breathing include:

  • An increase in the supply of oxygen to the brain
  • An improvement in concentration and focus
  • Improved excretion of toxins – many toxic substances get excreted via the  lungs during deep breathing
  • Feeling more relaxed – deep breathing triggers the relaxation  response

 

You will find it is extremely difficult to feel tense and anxious whilst  breathing deeply from the abdomen. A daily aerobic exercise program would be  beneficial too as it would help in increasing your lung capacity which in turn  will lead to deeper breathing.

So, by teaching yourself abdominal breathing you will have another weapon to  use against your anxiety and or panic disorder.

© Andrew Tudor Jones