One of the often unwanted effects of using amphetamine type substances is a feeling of anxiety and or panic. Panic is characterised by a number of physical symptoms including overbreathing. While this overbreathing can be a symptom of panic it can also contribute to further panic, keeping you on edge. Indeed you can panic about the fact that you are overbreathing. The following breathing exercise is designed to enable you to regain control of your breathing.
Becoming concious of your breathing
There are two types of breathing:
- Chest breathing
- Stomach breathing
Chest breathing is shallow and often irregular and rapid. Chest breathing is more commonly associated with anxiety and/or panic.
Stomach breathing is more often associated with people who are more able to mange anxiety. It is a more relaxed, even form of breathing.
Breathing Awareness Exercise
Which hand moved the most?
- Place the hand you write with on your stomach between lower ribs and your navel.
- Put your other hand on the breastbone, just below the collarbone
- Take a deep breath
If your chest moved the most, chances are that your breathing style is less helpful in relieving panic and/or anxiety.
The following breathing exercise may be helpful in controlling your breathing, however if you have breathing problems related to a physical illness you should consult a doctor before undertaking this exercise
- Ensure that you are sitting on a comfortable chair. Ideally you should have your arms in a relaxed neutral position by your sides.
- Take a deep breath in for four seconds (through your nose if possible).
- Hold the breath for two seconds.
- Release the breath taking six seconds (through mouth if possible).
- You can repeat this exercise for as long as it takes for you to feel comfortable.
If you would like to download a voice guided audio track for controlling your breathing we have one here breathing_relaxation.mp3