Here I will show you my all time favorite breathing technique for a panic attack.
If you know me, you’ll know I am hand’s on. I don’t want someone to tell me what to do, I like to try it for myself. That is how I learn, by feeling and experiencing. Show me a breathing technique and I have to try it right away to see how it feels in my body and see if I feel different after it.
Give yourself the next five minutes to relax.
I want you to experience this breathing technique for yourself.
Take a moment to scan yourself and see how you feel.
How intense or stressed do I feel?
What is on my mind?
Is there any pain or tension?
Don’t dwell here, simply register it as if you are an objective witness.
Now, push play and close your eyes. I’ll explain it all.
The best breathing technique for a panic attack:
Now, scan yourself again.
What do you notice?
Why does this breathing technique work for a panic attack?
Anxiety needs brain space to perpetuate your negative thoughts and fear response.
Breathing helps calm your nervous system physiologically, but sometimes during high anxiety merely focusing on the breath is not enough distraction. It doesn’t take the brain space.
The counting and complex pattern helps takes the space.
Doing both of them together works beautifully.
(There are tons of yogic breathing techniques you can learn to calm panic, but I love this one so much because it is simple and easy to remember!)
Calming from an Anxiety attack
Once the cognitive side of your brain knows you are not in physical danger, it takes a few minutes for your body to calm down from the boost of adrenaline of the panic attack.
You calm on your own in those minutes, if and only if your thoughts and emotions don’t keep re-triggering the panic.
You stop re-triggering if you are distracted or don’t stress about the physical response.
Try this breathing and counting pattern to stop an anxiety attack quickly and painlessly.
What was your experience?