anxious, we tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest - this is called thoracic breathing.
Thoracic breathing will cause an upset in the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange and will result in an increased heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension, and other physical sensations. In contrast, abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing forces you to take deep, even breaths, which sends signals to your body that you’re relaxed.
Look down right now and see where you’re breathing - is your chest rising and falling, or is your stomach? Make sure that you practice breathing so that your stomach rises and falls. Slow your breaths down. Now try inhaling for 5 seconds, holding your breath for 4 seconds, and exhaling for 6.
Know that sometimes, people with panic disorder can feel increased anxiety when they first practice this type of breathing, as it can feel constricting. If this happens to you, take a break, try it again in a day or so and build up gradually over time.
Remember, I'm always here to help if you have any questions regarding breathing or anxiety email me at ContactToni@drToniCamacho.com and click here to listen to this week's radio show for FREE (scroll down to see the list of shows).
Dr. Toni is a Best-selling author, Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) & Registered Herbalist in San Diego, California. She holds a PhD in psychology, and a Clinical Herbalist Certificate, an HHP certificate and is a Certified Trainer in the Success Principles. In private practice as a HHP she has been influenced by a variety of clinical modalities and orientations, and by the diverse life experiences of her clients. Toni’s approach to healing is holistic & transpersonal. In her work, she integrates the principles of Eastern and Western nutrition, herbololgy, energy medicine, Buddhist mindfulness and personal counseling to assist others in working through their physical or emotional blocks to attain optimal health.