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I noticed I tend to hold my breath - is this bad?
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I noticed I tend to hold my breath - is this bad?

I was very ill during the winter months with high blood pressure, tachycardia, and a form of dysautonomia 24x7 for about 5 months. While I am physically better for the most part, I have developed anxiety and panic disorder from the pain and fear I had when I was ill (which presents with similar symptoms). I sometimes fear my symptoms are coming back, which can induce a panic attack. The attacks can last a few hours.

I've noticed something lately. I hold my breath a lot (not on purpose). Could this induce panic? If so, how can I change my breathing? I don't consciously hold my breath, and if I am not thinking about how I breath, it just happens.
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685562_tn?1236818480
when you catch yourself holding your breath, relax
The very second you notice your doing it, take a deep breath in through your nose, out your mouth.
Our induce a yawn, that will open your lungs, and diaphram so it will pump a ton of o2 in your lungs.
Your heart will "Naturally" be pumping because of the lack of o2, dont let that bother you.

Another good technique is stand up with your arms strait to your side, take a 1/2 breath in, at the same time raise your arms in front of you 1/2 way as well. Hold it for 3 sec's, and gently push your arms forward during the 3 sec's.
Then take the other 1/2 breath, and raise your arms the rest of the way, and pulsate them once again for 3 sec's.
Now release your breath, and at the same time push your hand down "make sure there facing downward" and breath out all of your air, while pretending to push something downward "I use visualization of a blue/golden orb"

Do that 3 times, a day..it will build up your lungs
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370181_tn?1408130715
Have you ever noticed that when we think we hear a strange noise in the attic, we hold our breath so we can "hear" better? Ever been asked a difficult question that you have to answer immediately and notice that you're holding your breath while you think? I can think of a few other times I do this and I have no idea why. Come to think of it, maybe I'M the only one who does it......now THAT'S spooky, but my gut feeling is that almost everyone does this to some extent or another. That you hold your breath is not bad, in and of itself, but the fact it is causing you to feel anxious is not good. When we hold our breath, we're throwing our oxygen saturation levels off and this CAN create feelings of anxiety, even panic. Just as hyperventalating (taking short and shallow breaths) will throw our carbon dioxide levels out of whack and make us feel lightheaded and "weird," holding your breath no doubt causes some of those same feelings. I was taught by a therapist to breath into a small paper bag when my hyperventalation got really out of control. By "rebreathing" the carbon dioxide I was exhaling into the bag, after a few minutes (at most) the balance had been restored and I felt "normal" again. My heart rate would return to normal and the lightheaded feeling was gone. I'm not sure this technique will work for you as I don't know that your dioxide levels get thrown off from HOLDING your breath. I suppose you could try it..........it won't hurt you in anyway. Get a small paper bag and hold it firmly over your nose and mouth and just breath as normally as possible, the bag will scrunch down when you inhale and infllate when you exhale. Do this for about one minute the first time you try it. (Hope you don't have claustraphobia!) If it helps, great, if not, then you need to find another "quick fix" to get yourself breathing normally again. Perhaps as was suggested, just become very aware of your breathing, but NOT obsessed, and when you notice you're holding your breath, let it out and take a few really deep sort of "clensing" breaths. I think if you are vigilant about this and practice, you will soon overcome this "habit." There are a great many books out there on breathing since we apparently ALL do it wrong.............keep track, if you can, of what happened, what you were thinking or feeling, just before you held your breath. That could possibly give you a clue as to what is causing you to do this. Personally I think it's just a nervous habit you've gotten yourself into and with a little work on your part, you'll be able to break this pattern. If it is REALLY interfering with your life, then obviously see your doctor to rule out a physical cause. Since this is enough of a concern for you that you've written to an Anxiety Forum for answers, my thoughts are that this "habit" could indeed be inducing panic for you.
Try some self-help things first and if you get no relief, speak with your doctor........but I think you can beat this on your own.
Peace
Greenlydia        
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah, not good to hold your breath.  Not terrible.  The best thing to do is learn abdominal breathing.  Most therapists can teach this now, but it comes from Eastern religious practice, so you can also learn from Buddhists or Hindus or Taoists or your local yoga teacher or tai chi teacher.  A very important technique to know for anxiety sufferers.
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349780_tn?1309637558
You can't die from holding your breath. So you have no worries there. You will breath when you have to. Natural bodily reaction.
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458072_tn?1291418786
a magnesium deficiency will cause this.
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