Breathing Exercise for Panic Attacks

Posted by WellO2 Australia on

It can be quite stressful and difficult to learn how to stop panic attacks. A panic attack commonly occurs as a result of a rapid, extreme rush of fear, stress, or anxiety. However, panic attacks can be managed with a few simple techniques.

If you struggle from panic attacks, there are solutions to stop such attacks by performing breathing exercises or even leveraging technology

A consistent breathing pattern will give you something to focus on other than your thoughts, allowing you to take your mind off of your panic. In addition, knowing how to control your breathing can sometimes also reduce your level of stress.

Below are some tips on how to calm yourself down in a panic attack through breathing techniques

Balanced breathing.

As the name implies, this practice is aimed to ‘balance your breathing'—by using the same breathing count for when you inhale and exhale. This breathing exercise uses only the nose, focusing more control over each breath. To do this, inhale and exhale through your nose for 4 seconds each 

4-7-8 breathing. 

This breathing exercise focuses on using your stomach to breathe. Follow the steps below to do this: 

  • You can either sit down or stand up. Place one hand on the chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Inhale deeply from your stomach and pay attention to how your stomach feels. Count to 4 as you inhale.
  • Then,  hold your breath for 7 seconds. 
  • Continue to exhale while counting to 8 seconds. 

Alternate nostril breathing.

Alternate deep nostril breathing promotes profound relaxation while also maintaining a sense of alertness Here’s how to practice it: 

  • Place yourself in a comfortable position.
  • Place your index finger over the right nostril.
  • Close your right nostril and take a deep breath in.
  • Once you've taken a deep breath, place your index finger over your left nostril and hold it there for a moment.
  • Take a slow, deep breath out of your right nostril.

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Simple slow breathing.

It's a simple breathing practice that can help alleviate the symptoms of panic attacks. When you're feeling stressed or anxious, one minute of slow breathing can help you clear your mind.

Even ten seconds of slowing your breathing can have a positive impact on your health.   Slowing down your breathing and inhaling deeper breaths lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and enhances your focus and concentration.

Here’s how to do it;

  • Place yourself in a comfortable position and avoid all distractions the best you can. 
  • Take a deep breath in through your mouth for 10 seconds.
  • Relax yourself and exhale through your mouth


Deep Breathing exercises 

Use this strategy when you're feeling overwhelmed. Since panic can cause you to breathe faster quickly, which reduces your oxygen intake, that’s why you have to take a slower breathing rate. . 

When you are anxious, you tend to take shorter breaths, which means you don't get the full quantity of oxygen to your lower lungs, leading to shortness of breath. As a result of the soothing effects that occur with deep breathing exercise, you are able to fill your lungs to capacity.

Breathing techniques have many benefits other than stopping panic attacks. They can help people concentrate during meditations and provide a complete mind-relaxation. Breathing is an automatic process built into the human body. Unlike the heart, we cannot control its rhythm--rather, we have the ability to control how we breathe. 

Paying attention and focusing on how you breathe can help calm the mind and body. Apart from practicing several breathing techniques, WellO2 device can help you improve your breathing exercises routine to manage your panic attacks.

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