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Panic Attacks

Deep Breathing to Manage Anxiety & Panic

Anxiety and panic escalate when we are not in control of our breathing. Short chest breaths can speed up heart rate making many of the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic also increase. You can reverse this escalation through deep breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is an important technique discussed when I'm counseling clients who are experiencing anxiety and panic. Typically this breathing technique does not come easily for those who experience frequent anxiety and panic. But this breathing technique can be learned! It just takes some practice and getting used to. Here and here are two links that describe diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing also helps decrease feelings of stress too! Practice this breathing technique many times when you are not feeling anxiety or panic. I encourage clients to practice it at least once a day when there are little to no symptoms of anxiety or panic present. That will help you be able to use the skill when you areexperiencing the feelings of anxiety or panic. I encourage clients to write the steps down on an index card or on a note in their phone and keep the note with them. That way if feelings of anxiety or panic begin, they can pull out their note and begin the deep breathing to calm down the physical effects of anxiety. This helps you get to a place where you can then begin to challenge your anxious thoughts and manage the anxiety and panic better. If you'd like to know more about that part of managing anxiety and panic you can read a few of my blogs here and here; you can also read this article that has a neat parable linked within it too. Counseling is a great way to learn how to manage anxiety and panic; you don't have to suffer with anxiety and panic!