In addition to grounding methods for anxiety attacks, breathing exercises can reduce feelings of anxiety in the moment. These techniques are simple to perform, and they are highly effective. Whether you experience frequent anxiety attacks or you’ve only gone through a couple of them, you can use these strategies to keep yourself calm in a panic attack.
Why Breathing Exercises Help Anxiety Attacks
Anxiety attacks involve a mental and physical change. Mentally, your brain is flooded with sudden bursts of anxiety. Physically, your heartrate changes and your breathing becomes rapid. If you can control the physical elements of an anxiety attack, you can then focus on the mental side. (Learn more in How to Ground Yourself during an Anxiety Attack).
When you control your breathing, your heartrate becomes calmer and more consistent. You’ve probably heard “take a deep breath” countless times in your life. This is no different. These breathing techniques will help your body get the comfort it needs to get through an anxiety attack quickly.
Types of Breathing Exercises for Panic Attacks
Here are some different breathing exercises for anxiety attacks:
- Breathe in through your nose slowly over four seconds, then breathe out slowly through your mouth for four seconds. Repeat.
- Breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, then breathe out for four seconds. Repeat.
- Pretend you are holding a cup of your favorite soup in your hands. Hold your hands close to your face, and pretend to breathe in the aroma of the broth. Focus on this until you start to smell your favorite soup. Slowly inhale and exhale as you feel a sense of calm rush over your body.
You may have a variation of this that works better for you. Inhale, exhale, and breathe as if you are calm – even though you’re not feeling that way just yet. You can convince your body that it doesn’t need to be panicked anymore.
Reduce the Frequency of Panic Attacks with Anxiety Treatment
Being able to control a panic attack is one thing. Being able to eliminate it is something else entirely. You can learn how to control your anxiety attacks through anxiety treatment. This process is designed to help you identify the source of your anxiety and conquer it head-on. This will not only reduce the severity of your anxiety attacks, but it will also keep them to a minimum.
If you are interested in anxiety treatment in Wisconsin, contact Sherman Counseling at 920-733-2065.