Breathing exercises against stress
With simple breathing techniques or special yoga exercises one can learn to calm the body and mind and thus reduce stress. The trigger for this is the conscious concentration on breathing and the conscious control of the breaths, which normally take place without our noticing. By focusing on the breathing, the patient can no longer mentally deal with the stress that surrounds him.
Concentration itself is also improved by breathing exercises. In high-performance sports, these exercises are an important part of training, as targeted and conscious breathing increases athletic performance. Singers and musicians must also regularly practice correct breathing.
Breathing exercise to calm down
Breathing exercises are also used to calm the body during excitement. A very classical and well-known example is the three times deep breathing before reacting to an annoyance. It is possible to lower bodily functions that change under stress, such as high blood pressure or pulse, by means of forced calm breathing.
Here too, it is advisable to close your eyes in order to be able to focus completely on your breathing. Ideally, you should always breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. There should be pauses of about 2 seconds between breaths.
This is also helpful to prevent hyperventilation, especially in the case of emotional excitement. If you feel tense, the breathing exercise “Sighing” can help: Inhale through the nose, hold your breath and then exhale with a loud sigh. Alternatively, you can also try to hold your exhalation twice as long as your inhalation, for example, you can count to 5 when you inhale and then count to 10 when you exhale at the same rate. Basically, it goes without saying that this breathing should not cause you any trouble. Shortness of breath is not conducive to calming down and every breathing exercise must be adapted to you as an individual.
Breathing exercises during a panic attack
During an acute panic attack, breathing is often shortened and insufficient, so calming breathing exercises can help very quickly. A simple calming exercise involves breathing in deeper than usual and then breathing out again immediately. This means that the air is not to be held, but that inhalation and exhalation are fluid movements.
After the exhalation, the breath is held for a few seconds, which helps to count down slowly. This is followed by another deep inhalation and a subsequent exhalation in a fluid movement without pause. The pause in breathing always comes after one breath.
This exercise should be repeated for a few minutes until the body has calmed down again. In another exercise, the omnipresent panic can also be reduced by specifically inhaling the air through the nose into the abdomen and then exhaling through the mouth. It is important that the exercise is performed slowly and evenly.
Hyperventilation usually occurs during a panic attack. This is when you breathe much too quickly and much too deeply, so that too much CO2 is exhaled and too much oxygen is absorbed. The low CO2 saturation in the blood causes the blood vessels in the brain to constrict and it can even lead to fainting fits.
The solution is to raise the CO2 level again by breathing into a bag. By doing so, you breathe in the exhaled air enriched with CO2. An alternative is to hold the air, because the carbon dioxide saturation rises again.