1 – Hyperventilate:
60 to 90 seconds: Standing up, start breathing deeply and quickly as if you were blowing a balloon. Exhalations should be hard and forced. This is what you do when you hyperventilate
2 – Pay attention to the body:
Sit down, close your eyes, and listen to your body. How does it feel, do you feel discomfort, if so where? Scan your body and pay attention to the sensations that emanate from each part of it. Here are some of the most common symptoms of hyperventilation, see if you notice them in yourself:
- Anxiety, feeling of panic, impending disaster, detachment
- A rapid or irregular heart beat
- Chest pain or tightness
- Dizziness, faintness, light-headedness
- Headaches, visual disturbances
- Tingling, ‘pins and needles’ in hands and feet
- Cramps, shakes, sweats and twitches
- Weakness, exhaustion, lack of concentration and memory.
3 – Diaphragmatic breathing:
Find a quiet, comfortable spot where you will not be disturbed, and allow yourself a few seconds to calm down. Practice diaphragmatic breathing twice a day for 10 minutes each.
- Lying on your back, place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your abdomen, and monitoring the movement of each make sure only the hand on the abdomen is moving. During inhalation, the hand moves in an outward direction as the abdomen expands, and then it moves in an inward direction during exhalation as the abdomen is sucked back in. Breathing through your abdomen will decrease your breathing rate to a normal 8 to 10 breath per minute.
- Try to limit the amount of movement from the upper (chest) hand. If you are normally a chest breather, this may feel artificial and cause feelings of breathlessness. That is a natural response; just remember that you are getting enough oxygen and the feelings of breathlessness will decrease the more you practice. If you find it very hard to keep your chest still, lie on the floor, flat on your stomach (that is, facing the floor) with your hands clasped under your head. This will make it easier to breathe from the abdomen. Once you have done that several times and feel comfortable breathing from the abdomen, practice the exercise again while in a seated position. Don’t gulp in a big breath and then let it out all at once. When you breathe out, let the air escape equally over the whole time you are breathing out. Although it does not matter whether you breathe through your nose or your mouth, try breathing through your nose at first as it will help prevent taking in big gulps of air.
- Start to count on your inhalations. That is, when you breathe in, think the word “one” to yourself, and as you breathe out, think the word “relax.” Think “two” on your next breath in and “relax” on the breath out. Think “three” on your next breath in and “relax” on the breath out. Continue this up to around “ten” and then go backwards to “one.” If other thoughts come to your mind while counting, don’t get upset or angry, acknowledge them, and then bring your focus back to the count.
When you first begin to count your breaths, you may become breathless or a little dizzy and begin to speed up your breathing. This should subside once you get used to the exercise. If it becomes too uncomfortable, stop for a short while and calm down, then begin again