Anti-anxiety drugs such as Librium, Klonopin, and Xanax are a staple when it comes to treating anxiety and panic attacks using medications.
They are used by countless anxiety and panic disorder sufferers.
However, these drugs are really nothing more than stopgap measures.
They will just cover up the symptoms, and you’ll end up wasting your money and live dependent on these drugs.
It might be in your best interest to avoid them, as there are better ways to reduce anxiety and prevent panic attacks than becoming dependent on drugs.
And one of those ways is via deep breathing.
It is no secret that breathing is helpful in times of stress.
Think about those deep breaths you take before doing something you’re afraid to do.
In fact, women in labor use Lamaze (a childbirth technique that involves specific breathing practices) to minimize the pain.
Anxiety and panic attacks can cause rapid breathing and hyperventilation, which will further exacerbate the fear you experience during an attack.
So focus on your breathing, and take long, deep breaths in and out—in through your nose, out through your mouth.
While you are thinking about your breathing, you will be thinking about little else, and this will continue to relax you.
The breathing in and out technique is fundamental though.
In cases where the attacks are on the severe side, you’ll want to employ slightly advanced deep breathing techniques such as the “Coherent Breathing,” “Resistance Breathing,” and “Breath Moving.”
These techniques are covered in great detail in the book “The Healing Power of the Breath.”
Here’s an overview of each of these three breathing techniques:
1) Coherent Breathing
This deep breathing technique is extremely effective for elevating your heart-rate variability or HVR.
Is it good to elevate your HVR?
Yes, it is—at least, that’s what the authors of the book claim.
Having a higher HVR means your entire cardio system is more resilient and has better stress-response systems in place to cushion the negative impact of anxiety disorders and panic attacks.
In the initial stages of employing this deep breathing technique, you are required to slow down your breath rate to just five breaths per minute—give or take.
Close your eyes and breathe through your nose.
As you breathe in, count to five.
As you breathe out, repeat the same count.
2) Resistance Breathing
Any type of breathing that generates resistance to airflow can be regarded as resistance breathing.
How do you generate resistance?
There are several ways to do so including:
- Clenching your teeth and hissing
- Breathing through a straw
- Tightening the muscles within your throat
- Resting the tip of your tongue right against the inner portion of your teeth
- Pursing your lips
Breathing through pursed lips is the most straightforward approach to producing resistance.
All you have to do is keep your eyes and mouth closed, and slowly breathe in through your nose.
During the breathing out phase, pursed your lips and then breathe out slowly.
Repeat this exercise for about five minutes.
The end goal here is to be able to perform this form of breathing in an effortless manner— without giving it a single thought.
3) Breath Moving
The power of imagination is essential when employing the breath moving technique.
We are required to imagine that the airflow from each breath is channeled to various parts of our bodies.
In one of the breath moving exercises described in the book, the authors tell you to imagine that as you breathe in, the airflow shoots up to the top of your head.
As you breathe out, imagine that the air flows gradually down to the base of your spine.
As mentioned, in-depth information regarding these breathing techniques can be found in the Healing Power of the Breath book by Richard P. Brown, MD, and Patricia Gerbarg, MD.
The book is quite good, but it’s obviously not free.
Want something that’s free and works just as well at reducing anxiety and panic attacks?
It will provide fast relief to those who often experience anxiety and panic attacks.
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