Podcast 2: More on Breathing

Anxiety Panic Attacks

I just wanted to expand on the topic of breathing that I started yesterday and why it’s so important to use deep breathing to overcome anxiety and panic.

When panic and anxiety kicks in adrenaline spikes, the sympathetic nervous system takes over and so you get all the symptoms that you’re all too aware of, wobbling fuzziness, sometimes lack of vision, fear, inability to breath or speak, just that general feeling of being out of control. Well, if you take a deep breath from your belly you are in control of your breathing. That is the one aspect that you now have taken control of, and that’s what you’re telling your body and your mind I’m in control. So if you just take a few breathes and consciously push your belly out, your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and it levels off all those symptoms. You can literally feel everything calming down and all those spikes just levelling.

Yesterday I said that within 3 minutes of breathing deeply adrenaline stops being pumped out, that’s not correct. As soon as you take a deep breath, adrenaline stops, it just takes 3 minutes for it to stop coursing around your body and the whole system has settled down completely. So deep breathing is your way of taking control and your body instantly knows that and it says right ok you’re in charge again, so the sympathetic system just settles back down because its only kicks in when the adrenaline rushes around, because it’s the fight or flight that has kicked in.

It’s trying to do its best for you, that’s another thing to remember, your body is only ever trying to do what it thinks is best for you, so in that instance if you take some deep breathes you’re saying it’s ok thanks very much but I’m in control now. So remember deep breaths, and it’s good to practice that throughout the day.