Breathe

If you read yesterday’s post you may have noticed how many symptoms are directly related to breathing or not or hyperventilating. https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2015/03/10/panic-attacks-symptoms/ The first 4 symptoms all involve breathing.  I learned from one of my medical doctors that it only takes 10% increase in breathing to reach hyperventilation that can cause dizziness, numbness, chest pain and several other panic attack symptoms.  Your breathing is semi-voluntary.  You can control it and control your breathing helps you control your reaction.  A quick trick to even out your breathing is to breathe into a paper bag.  This reduces the oxygen intake and helps stop the dizzy spacey feeling.  If you don’t have a paper bag, breathe into your cupped hands.  First step of mindfulness is to become aware of your breathing.

If you are in a safe place, this breathing technique may help.

Breathing through the nose and out through the mouth.

Breath in

1

2

3

4

Breath out

1

2

3

4

5

6

Breath in and out slowly for 2 minutes.

Drop your shoulders….consciously work at relaxing your muscles.

Think in your mind of peaceful place you would like to be, visualize the scene.  Keep breathing slowly.

This does not end a panic attack.  It gives you 2 minutes to regroup your physical and emotional resources.  Giving myself time to think is vital to choosing healthier ways of handling a situation.

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