WHAT ARE THE PANIC ATTACKS AND HOW DO THEY MANIFEST?
The frenetic lifestyle you live in forces you to a continuous and consuming mental activity and a minimal physical one.
Being such exhausting, offers you a very low possibility of introspection, to spend more time with yourself, a fact for which, your uncertainties and anxiety are amplified.
All this can generate manifestations in the form of sudden episodes of intense fear, considered as panic attacks.
Many times they are confused with anxiety attacks. But although the two have symptoms in common, there are small aspects that differentiate them.
Normally the time of a panic attack can vary between 5-10 minutes; but there may be cases when multiple panic attacks occur consecutively, thus making it appear to have a longer duration.
Unexpected attacks can occur without any trigger, but it is an automatic and natural action of your body to a threat that it perceives. Whether this is an external or internal threat.
“A panic attack goes from 0 to 100 in an instant.It is halfaway between feeling like you will faint and feeling like you will die.”
Thus triggers the sympathetic nervous system that releases adrenaline and cortisone, hormones of emergencies, which schedule you for action.
The symptoms are an intense and disruptive sense of “unreality” and detachment, the brain being on full alert, constantly scanning for threat.
The first sign is hyperventilation, which is not caused by a lack of O2, how most of the people believe, but it is caused by breathing out too much CO2 before you can produce more.
Thus, it reduces blood flow to the brain and appears symptoms such as very alert breathing and heart rate, body tension, causing chest pain. That is why are cases when panic attacks are also confused with heart attack symptoms.
The respiratory difficulty appears with the sensation of suffocation, strong dizziness, sometimes accompanied by nausea, pain in the abdominal area, tremor, chills or heat waves, followed by sweating.
All these physical sensations, lead to emotional insecurity, loss of control, even difficulty in verbalizing.
The causes of their occurrence are unknown, but there may be external factors that influence their presence: health condition, intense emotional states, depression, stress.
If you are a person experiencing such issues, I provide you some simple and effective breathing techniques to overcome panic attacks.
Breath is the link between mind and body, and every each breathing exercise itself has a different purpose, depending on the physical energy and mental needs of each person, as well as depending on the circumstances. That is why I suggest you discover, which of these techniques are best suited for you.
They will certainly help you by releasing oxytocin (it reduces fears and increases confidence at the behavioral level), to calm the mind and body, to bring you in a state of relaxation and balance.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1 SLOW CONTROL BREATHING
- 2 6 BREATHING TECHNIQUES FOR PANIC ATTACKS
- 3 FINAL THOUGHTS…
SLOW CONTROL BREATHING
I recommend this step before each breathing techniques.
In the case of panic attacks you experience very short and accelerated breaths, that will not allow you to take a deep inhale.
The act of inhaling fills you with energy and power, and the act of exhaling frees you from your inner fear and makes relaxation possible.
“Inhale the future, and exhale the past!”
Therefore, the first thing, I recommend you to do in case of panic attacks, is to exhale deeply, until the air is completely removed from the lungs. Then the body will naturally take air to fill them back.
Challenge: You can do this test right now, just out of curiosity.
Breathe several times very quickly and briefly for a few seconds, and then try to inhale very deep. You will have a feeling of blockage and the limitation of air.
Now try what I recommended!
Once again breathe quickly and briefly for a few seconds, but this time exhale deeply the air from the lungs and after letting them work naturally.
“Learn how to exhale, inhale will take care of itself.” Carla Melucci Ardito
Your back of the neck and your shoulders will get relaxed; you will feel your breathing slowing down and becoming more controlled.
After this small step, you can continue with one of the breathing techniques below.
6 BREATHING TECHNIQUES FOR PANIC ATTACKS
CALM BREATH BUBBLE
Imagine a bubble that swells and deflates. Now do this exercise during a minute, to inhale through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth, for instant relaxation.
In this technique, you will inhale the same amount of time as you will exhale, paying attention to an extending length of your breath.
Find a comfortable position, you can sit or lay down. If you sit, close your eyes or rest your gaze on a spot on the floor in front of you. Be mindful, ground yourself into here and now, paying attention to the breath.
Take a moment to equalize your breathing, slowing down the lengthiness both of your in and the out-breath.
Inhale slowly for 4 seconds through your nose, and exhale for 4 seconds through your mouth. Try to lengthen the breath in and out to 5 seconds, and so one till 8 seconds.
If you lose the count, just start fresh with the next breath. This exercise will help you as well to reduce the physical symptoms of panic attacks.
CARBON DIOXIDE REBREATHING
Do you remember the old trick for panic attacks with the paper bag? Well, this is about. Take a paper bag, put it at your mouth, and inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale deeply through your mouth. In case, you do not have a paper bag, you can use your hands and put them over your mouth.
NAVY SEAL BREATHING TECHNIQUE (4:4:4)
- Get comfy – you can sit, stand, or lay down in bed.
- Close your eyes, push your lungs forward and listen to your breath.
- Inhale slowly through your nostrils until you count to 4, and fill your chest and belly with air.
- Hold your breath until you count to 4.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth until counting to 4.
- You can do 5 cycles of this exercise.
I recommend you to do this technique, not just in case of panic attacks, but at least once in a day, in the morning or the evening, because as well reduces anxiety, stress and detoxifies our body.
DEEP DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING (OR BELLY BREATHING)
This technique can be done:
- standing up;
- laying down on the floor or in bed with pillows under your head and knees;
- on a chair, comfortable, but not supported by the seat backrest; with your back upright, your head, neck and shoulders relaxed, and with your feet in contact with the floor.
Put one hand on your chest, and another one on your belly, two fingers below the navel. As I said previous, first step exhale deep, and inhale through your nose, breathing slowly and deeply than usual. The diaphragm will get expand with the air, and you will feel the low hand from your belly, which will rise.
The top hand from your chest should not be moving or moving just a little.
Hold the air for 3 seconds, and exhale out through your mouth, engaging your stomach to push the air out with every breath.
You can do 4-5 cycles of this breathing technique. This exercise can be done whenever you feel your body gets nervous.
You can use it even when you are calm, during the day. Like this, you will become more expert and it will be easier for you to do it even if you are in public.
ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING (NADISHODHANA/ANULOMA VILOMA PRANAYAMA)
In this technique, the breath is alternate between the left nostril and right nostril, with or without (in this case) retencion of breath. The breath should be slow and controlled, but not forced or restricted in anyway.
Before to start this breathing technique be sure that you have the airway clear. Blow your nose if you need so. If you have a cold, and your airway is blocked, avoid doing this breathing technique until you will be able to breath smoothly again.
Sit on the pillow with the legs crossed or in a meditative posture. Keep your back and head straight, the neck large and your eyes closed.
Put your left hand on your left knee in Jnana Mudra (the palm up, with the thumb and index attached, and the rest of three fingers extended).
The right hand should be in Vishnu Mudra, as you can see in the video. Fold the index and middle finger in your palm, and close your right nostril with your right thumb.
Breathe through the left nostril for 5 seconds; open the right nostril and close the left one with the ring finger and pinkie, and exhale through the right nostril for 5 seconds.
Inhale through the right nostril for 5 seconds; open the left nostril and close the right one. Exhale through the left nostril for 5 seconds.
You can repeat 5 rounds of Anuloma Viloma Pranayama.
The simple act of regulating the breath brings results and the guarantees of the good functioning of the body and mind: eliminate toxins, bring energy and healing oxygen, and gives strength and vitality.
Our breath is our first tool that can deal with many issues in our lives.
“The breath is the king of the mind.”
Unfortunately, we do not focus on breathing. We do not give the proper attention, that is why we do not do it well.
“The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings.” TKV Desikachar
I recommend using these simple techniques, not only in the case of panic attacks, but you can implement them in your daily lifestyle.
Thus, you will learn to breathe with consciousness, being the key to balance, harmony, and peace of mind, body, and emotions.
” Breath is the bridge that connects life to consciousness which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Till next time…
Master Your Breath And Give
To It Gracefulness!
~ Diana D. ~
Founder of dareandbe.com/