How to Alleviate Panic Attacks : How to Do Breathing Exercises

Uploaded by expertvillage on 18.01.2008

Hi, this is Ben Brennan from Austin, Texas. I'm coming to you on behalf of Expert Village
and today we're going to be talking about panic attacks. Okay now I'd like to go over
the breathing exercises you can use to help yourself be prepared for a panic attack and
actually be able to control or prevent panic attacks from worsening. The first thing you
want to do is to pay attention to your body. Are you breathing with your chest or your
abdomen or both? This is important to know as we've mentioned before in another clip,
most people who suffer from an anxiety attacks tend to be chest breathers too. So you really
want to know about yourself. Step one is to lay on your back and relax. For those of us
with higher levels of anxiety, this relaxation may take a while. But go easy on yourself,
if it takes you a first few days just to get to the point of relaxation, be glad you probably
needed that relaxation time anyways a lot more than you needed to learn how to breathe
right now. Be patient with yourself. Once you are comfortable laying down and relaxed
enough to be able to observe your breathing, try breathing with only your abdomen. This
may take some time so don't push yourself, this is about relaxation. Also, remember that
breathing is an autonomic response. So you really don't breathe as much as you allow
yourself to breathe. If you're having trouble allowing yourself to breathe with your stomach,
try putting a book on it and adding a little pressure as you breathe in and out. This will
give your body something to focus on and help condition your stomach to rise instead of
your chest when you breathe. If you're still having trouble breathing with your abdomen
instead of your chest, one thing you can do is turn around and get up on your hands and
knees. Being in this posture will lock your chest in a fixed position and allow your diaphragm
and your stomach to do the breathing work. While you're doing this just relax and pay
attention to your stomach and you'll notice what it feels like for your stomach to do
the breathing work. When you feel comfortable with this you can go back to lying on your
back and practicing your abdominal breathing according to the previous steps. Now don't
expect change overnight, but continue to do this everyday if possible. Preferably for
fifteen minutes but really any amount will help. You'll find that eventually this may
be the most relaxed part of your day and you may actually look forward to doing your breathing
exercises. After a few weeks or a few months, you'll know what to do when you start to feel
that panic coming and not only will you be able to help panic attacks subside more quickly,
you may be able to avoid a full blown panic attack from occurring by breathing properly
with your stomach and helping yourself relax before your small sense of panic turns into
a full blown panic attack.