How To Power Breathe For Anxiety & Help Lessen The Severity Of Panic Attacks — VIDEO
Anxiety is my middle name — and I don't mean anxiety as in those persistent little worries in the back of your mind every now and then. I mean full blown panic attacks on public transportation that cause very old men to walk you home and make sure that you don't pass out on the street. If I had known about "power breathing" and how to power breathe in order to help anxiety back in college, I think I would have had a much easier time.
People that have never suffered from anxiety often do not understand how hard it is to control your mind in that state. Your thoughts are scattered, you have trouble concentrating, you're very irritable, and often you cannot help but be restless. All of these factors can combine to cause a panic attack, and those are not fun. My junior year of college was especially difficult and anxiety-filled. I was paying for my apartment, working full time at a movie theater and taking on a full course-load. Needless to say, after six months I was having panic attacks pretty regularly whenever I checked my bank account. Not talking about it with my parents or friends also contributed to the situation. My advice for anyone in a similar situation is to not be afraid to reach out. Holding in all those emotions will not be helped by power breathing if that's all you're doing. The technique has been proven to help lessen anxiety, but talking about your worries has been the most effective for me.
For those cases where you are about to have, or are in the middle of, a full blown panic attack — power breathing is your best friend. Watch the video below that explains the merits and techniques of this method.
Most people know about about breathing techniques from meditation or yoga classes. Those usually tell you to slow down your breathing and relax. When you are in a situation where you might be having a panic attack, that breathing exercise is not the best.
Slow breathing and deep breathing fail in comparison to power breathing. That has to do with your brain and how it interprets different stimuli.
This method has been used to stop panic attacks, reducing symptoms of migraines and even muscle spasms. Basically anything that has to do with calming your body from a tense reaction.
The way that it works is quite simple. Your body has a response to threats called the fight or flight or sympathetic nervous system state. Your goal is to get your body back to the parasympathetic nervous system state because in that state you can make logical decisions. When your body is in fight or flight mode, you are often not in control. The way to get back that control is by power breathing, which is incredibly easy.
That's it! You just breathing out twice as long as you breathe in. Meaning if you breathe in for four seconds, stretch out your exhale to eight. By training yourself to do this, you trigger your brain's response and get your body back into a parasympathetic nervous system state.
Of course, nothing is a cure all, but any little ways to ease your anxiety can help. Next time you recognize your anxiety flaring up, give it a try and see how it goes!
Images: Pexels; YouTube