Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are not always best treated with a doctor prescribing medicine. Sometimes simple breathing techniques are all you need to help cure your anxiety. Now, these breathing exercises will not work all the time, but when you're in the midst of a panic attack, one of the worst things is the hyperventilation that follows.
So practice these exercises before you have a panic attack, and remember them, and repeat the next time that you're feeling anxious:
- Paper bag breathing. Breathe in and out of a paper bag. It looks stupid, but it focuses your mind on your breathing and not on much else, allowing you to forget your anxiety.
- Deep diaphragm breathing . Focus on taking deep breaths while holding your rib cage. Do not allow your rib-cage to move. The idea here is to get the oxygen-rich breath deep inside your body. Shallow-breathing, where you fill your lungs on the inhale and then quickly exhale, will not do any good at all. Once you're getting the right right inside you, you'll start to feel better already. (But be careful – if you're not using diaphragm breathing, it can take a little bit of getting used to.
- We Will Rock You breathing . Also called ” Transformational Breathing “. This is a great exercise that is probably best not attempted while you're in the middle of a panic attack, but when you're relaxed and happy. This involves flooding the body with an overdose of oxygen, in an attempt to induce an almost dream-like state. It's called We Will Rock You breathing because that's the rhythm you should adopt when taking your breaths – 2 breaths in, one breath out. The out-breath, or exhalation, should be quick and almost automatic. The results can be powerful. One reporter from the Sunday Times described her experience of Transformational Breathing as being like a ” vast orgasm of emotion “.
So there you go. Instead of rushing to the doctor to get medication for your anxiety attacks, try a few breathing exercises. If they work for you, you've saved yourself some money, and kept chemicals out of your system.