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Shallow Breathing

Shallow Breathing Contributes to Anxiety

When people are anxious, they tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest.

This type of breathing, called thoracic or chest breathing, may cause upsets in the body's oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, resulting in increased heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension, and other physical sensations. Your blood is not being properly oxygenated, and this may signal a stress reliever that contributes to anxious feelings, general anxiety, or even panic attacks.

Diaphragmatic or deep breathing, on the other hand, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is part of the nervous system responsible for regulating heartbeat, blood flow, breathing, and digestion. PNS is also known as “rest and digest.”

Deep breathing helps you avoid the flight, fight, freeze, fawn or at least can aid in managing these feelings while in an activated state.

Any type of deep breathing exercise can be effective for relieving anxiety. Experiment with a few different types to figure out which one is most effective and practical for you.

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