BREATHING TECHNIQUES – EMERGENCY BREATHING
When we are in a high state of anxiety or panic, our breathing becomes more rapid and shallow, causing us to take in far more oxygen than we actually need. As a result, lots of physical and emotional symptoms can follow, causing us to feel like we are no longer in control. In order to control and reverse this process, it is important to be able to regulate your breathing and engage your ‘braking’ system.
Breathe in through your nose for the count of 3
Breathe out through your mouth for the count of 3.
You may find this difficult at first, but keep thinking about it whilst you try as this will distract you from the panic attack. As you improve with your cycle, try counting slower until your symptoms have eased and you feel relaxed. If possible always make sure you are sitting down.
This technique should follow technique No.1 or be used if feeling stressed or worried.
Breathe in through your nose for the count of 3- hold and pause for 3
Breathe out through your mouth for the count of 3- hold and pause for 3
Repeat whole process.
This technique can be used following the initial 3 x 3 technique, if this is proving to be ineffective. This is may be helpful to use if you are experiencing intermittent waking during the night. Repeat 4-5 times only.
Breathe in through your nose for the count of 7
Breathe out through your mouth for the count of 11.
NB This technique should only be used if lying down in a safe comfortable place.
To practice diaphragmatic breathing:
Lie on your back with the palms of your hands placed on your lower stomach area. Make sure that the tips of your middle fingers are just touching.
As you breathe in, expand your abdomen (your diaphragm muscle) so that your stomach rises, and then falls with each breath out. Your chest should remain relatively still (it will expand a little bit) and your shoulders should remain relaxed and not ‘heave’ up.