Deep Breathing Exercises for Panic Attacks

Deep Breathing Exercises for Panic Attacks
Taken by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

Sometimes it’s easy to take the involuntary functions of the body for granted, but it’s important that you devote at least some small portion of time to these features of the body because minor reactions and processes can play a much larger role in your health.

One of these involuntary functions that humans need to live is breathing, and the efficiency, speed, and depth of your breathing have way more control over your body than most people will admit, so this article will be sharing some deep breathing exercises for panic attacks.

Can Breathing Exercises Help Panic Attacks?

It’s easy to underestimate the power of simple, controlled breathing. After all, it’s just breathing, right? How much good can it actually do?

According to one study:

Physiological evidence has indicated that even a single breathing practice significantly reduces blood pressure, increases heart rate variability (HRV) and oxygenation, enhances pulmonary function, and improves cardiorespiratory fitness and respiratory muscle strength.

National Library of Medicine

In fact, the number of studies that demonstrate a positive correlation between controlling your breathing and an overall increase in physical and psychological well-being is astounding.

That’s great news for those that prefer a more natural treatment over taking prescription medications to help better manage panic attacks.

To get started, here are a few basic breathing techniques you can incorporate in your daily routine:

Simple Breath

simple breathing technique for panic attacks

For this first exercise, there is very little to learn, but it can be surprising to find out how little breathing you’ve actually done when you can feel how out of shape some of the muscles you need finally get activated.

To do this breathing technique, you only need to sit in an easy relaxed position and take slow deep breaths. Inhale slowly for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly at the same slow controlled pace and repeat. While performing this basic technique, try to clear your mind of any distractions and let your arms and shoulders relax.

Breath Counting

Breath Counting for panic attacks is a fascinating and deeply engaging method that comes from Zen practice. In order to get ready to perform this breathing technique, you have to sit as comfortably as you can with a straightened back and lean your head forward just a bit.

When it is done, you normally have your eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths, taking time in between each and remaining as relaxed as possible.

To begin the exercise, simply inhale and exhale naturally without pushing. During your first exhale, you will count to 1 until you get to 5. Upon reaching 5, start over in your counting. Do this until you begin to catch yourself counting beyond 16.

Alternative Nostril Breathing

woman performing alternate nostril breating

The Alternate Nostril Breath is a technique that was derived from yogic breathing. It is meant to help people to raise awareness and alertness. To execute this technique, you must control your breathe by keeping it slow and continuous.

To practice alternate nostril breathing:

  • Sit on the floor your legs crossed.
  • With the left hand on the left knee, use the right hand to occlude the right nostril with gentle pressure.
  • Exhale completely and then inhale through the left nostril.
  • Once you’ve inhaled and filled your lungs with air, switch hands and close the left nostril completely and exhale through the right nostril.
  • Continue exhaling and inhaling through alternate nostrils with each breath. Inhale through left nostril and then close left nostril with your fingers.
  • Continue for up to 5 minutes.
  • Always complete the practice by finishing with an exhale on the left side.

This is a wonderful breathing technique if you’re feeling anxious or stressed and can quickly calm your nervous system.

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