Avatar universal

Manual breathing

Does anybody else who suffers from health anxiety find themselves breathing manualy from time to time? Sometimes i just can`t catch my breath and this in turn makes my dizzy, which often triggers a panic attack of some kind. I hate this so much.
16 Responses
Avatar universal
I always manual breathe. I have no clue as to how to breathe normally. I am trying yoga now, they say it's great for your health, it teaches u how to breathe right, and it keeps your joints flexible. Very good for the mind, body, spirit. i figure I have nothing else to loose. We have alot of men, fit and not fit. Its for everyone now. have a great day.
How do you sleep if you don’t mind me asking ?
I breath myself in and out to sleep and when I wake up I cannot go fall asleep anymore.
Even watching tv or reading a book is a hassle.
I just think I’m gonna lose my mind soon.
Hey, mind sharing what's burdening you?
I’m totally in the same situation as you. I can’t sleep once I wake up and breath in and out to sleep. It’s made me not wanna do yoga or running anymore.
I can’t focus on anything. I keep asking doctors if I’ve lost my marbles but they say I’m fine. I’m fully aware of my body functions 24/7. It’s so bad that I think I’ve lost connection with reality:(((
If you are that upset you are stopping doing what you like to do and can't focus, you haven't "lost your marbles," but there are mental problems than are a lot less than that.  You might not have a physiological problem, but you might be suffering from anxiety.  If you think you are, therapy might be something to pursue.  If it's less than that and it's only been happening a brief period of time, anything happen recently that might be bugging you that much?
Avatar universal
i most def get like that i hav been fro tha past couple of days on on predisone and flovent and advair for my asthma but im not wheezing or anything i thank its just an anxiety thing and ima have to try and deal with it im on 20mlgs of celexa for that but hang in there it will turn around for you you will have good days then u will have reelly bad onez anxiety is terrible and i feel for everyone who has this !!! take caree
Avatar universal
I teach Pranayama an ancient breathing technique from India. Do you want to learn it.
Avatar universal
So-called 'manual breathing' was my first anxiety symptom. I experienced this from the ages of 8-10. Breathing occurs naturally without thinking about it. If you do think about it and labour your breathing, you'll likely hyperventilate which will cause dizziness/lightheadedness and at its worst passing out. However, if you pass out from hyperventilation, your body will regulate its breathing while you're out. Anyway, the only way to breath normally is not to think about it. Once you've concerned yourself with other things your breathing will occur naturally.
Avatar universal
Well said. :0)
299912 tn?1341623100
I understand exactly what is meant by manual breathing, but are you really? In order to say that you always manually breathe, means that you do so on every breath and that if you didn't you wouldn't. Is is possible to manually breathe in your sleep.

One thing that I learned to get over this is that this is one of the very basic functions of our biological bodies (which is why it bothers us so much!) Once we realize that we are not in control of our breathing, we will stop trying to be. For example - try to hold your breath, as long as you can...eventually you will breathe again, gasping for air (it is unlikely that you will pass out, but even if you do, the same thing happens, you start breathing immediately). Why? For the simple fact that our bodies were designed very well and that our bodies know what it needs, without our conscious help. Most cases people always breathe fine unless there is some sort of injury. This is a classic symptom or anxiety and panic and can be overcome. We need not learn how to breathe any particular way simply to sustain our life - only if we want to train our bodies to be MORE effecient for relaxation, sports, etc.

Avatar universal
Manual breathing is all in your head. It happened to me before where i was trying to relax by breathing manually..in and out...but then i got "tired" because when you manually breathe hard..you strain your muscles..and i started to panick that i wouldn't be able to breathe forever..that someday i would get tired of breathing and stop!

So i manually breathed a lot during my anxiety. until one day i was at a water park having so much fun and i felt so relaxed..and realized i hadn't thought once about my breathing.

It is hard to stop the manual breathing...because then you feel like you wont breathe...this weird trick i learned is to take off your shirt....look in a mirror....close your mouth, and snap your fingers or lick the top of the roof of your mouth and WATCH yourself automatically breathe. To show you taht it happens naturally.

You will see your chest move up and down..your diaphram go in an out. The rason i say snap your fingers and lick the roof of your mouth is because if you just stare at your chest or stomach without doing something else...you will most likely STILL be controling your breathing.

Once the fear of being tired of breathing, being unable to breathe automatically etc etc is faced...it becomes easier.

There are a variety of bodily functions that are automatic that when you have anxiety..you focus on them and then they become a nuisance. THe key to conquering these triggers is to be happy and comfortable. And know that nothing is a life sentence. Your mind will get bored if it isn't being fed fear...and you will move on. Trust me on this.

Another thing that may help you...is that most people are very shallow breathers. Meaning..that most people..feel good and relaxed and normal breathing very little. When you manually breathe you're much more likely to strain yourself and hyperventilate which can increase the anxiety. Most breathing is not strained and albored and noticeable.

Also, when you start auto breathing...and you catch yourself focusing on your breathe...focus on the present. how you feel when you are breathing automatically..how calm you are. How unnoticeable your breathing is. And you will realize that you do not need to be concious of it...or even work at it to stay ventilated and happy.

Hope this helps
Wow that’s a very useful tip! Thanks. I sometimes feel like fainting because of the hyperventilating. I was planning to have a baby this year and I got myself into this:(
Look, if you're hyperventilating, what I said above goes double.  It's time to see a psychologist and work on it.
Avatar universal
I agree with the other answers. I would add though that I believe there are a lot of resources out there regarding anxiety and breathing that are misleading. If you type in 'anxiety and breathing,' the majority will promote the benefits of conscious 'deep breathing' - which is possibly more useful in a classic 'panic attic' situation . However, what is being described on this thread is more of an obsessive compulsion over breathing, in which focussing on the breath is exactly the wrong thing to do.
Avatar universal
er, I don't really have an answer but ive suffered two or three serious panic attacks where this was problem, I haven't suffered too much from it since and I found a technique that worked for me when I was in the hospital and I kept thinking my heart was stopping as a result of my breathing. I found that when I was struggling to take in the next breath and my chest was tightening and I started to feel panic set in, I would rub my nose, swallow then clear by throat with a gentle cough and it would "reset" my breathing pattern and eventually it developed to the point where any moment I was struggling for breath I would do it practically without thinking and it would make me feel comfortable enough to keep breathing.

As of late I find that when it comes to struggling breathing the trick is to focus your breathing into movement instead, things like tai chi and karate katas have helped me a great deal, where you slowly push your hands out as you breath out it feels like you are generating positive energy, it puts your mind into a state of rather than manually controlling your breathing your letting your body flow naturally gently extending my arm and clenching my fist as my arm reaches impact like practicing a wing chun punch is a feel good move that helps me focus... try combining breathing with movement is what I'm trying to say, slowly move your arms with your breath, move in and out of different stances as you breath letting it flow as you move, it doesn't have be be HUGE movements in public you'd look a bit silly (not that I'd care) but small movements still work fine so long as you are focusing on them, clearing my throat when I feel I'm struggling to catch breath or am overthinking it...

Another way was I would listen to music whichever kind you like, and tap my fingers and my feet to the rhythm as though I was playing the song on a piano, trying to guess when notes were going higher or lower... I learned this when I was on the aeroplane and its gotten me through stressful flights ever since... you'll know when your doing well when you take in a big deep breath and it satisfyingly fills your lungs, rather than "breathing to the stomach" as I think ive heard it referred to before... nothing can stop you once you master breathing techniques in as many situations as possible and it does get easier to control believe me being able to control such a struggle is an infinitely liberating feeling, its just many factors can effect whether you will be struggling with breathing or other anxiety related issues and the trick is to try and relax and take your mind to something that makes you forget all about it.

Some reassuring statistics are that panic attacks peak within roughly 10 minutes at that point your body its almost as though your body enters a mad-like focus state though things still seem cloudy your head hurts, your eyes hurt, you get dizzy, your hands shake all sorts of strange feelings happen, you write yourself off for dead (its a natural defence apparently XD) but rest assured they will go soon enough and even faster if you know how to deal with them, the attack dulls within 15-30 mins and are long gone by an hour for most all people. Now when you think of it like that it doesn't seem too bad, hang in there for 10 mins and you'll be peachy, distraction and learning how to reduce your stress when you need to is the key at the end of the day I find oh and think positively appreciate the little things like those nice deep breaths you accomplished without realising its all a state of mind and for me alcohol is a killer, as well as when I'm down with a cold or something is impacting my sinuses...

Good luck you have my sympathy for the **** people like us have to put up with haha but you'll be stronger for it! and I wish you great things in the future I only hope my advice helped someone :P
370181 tn?1595629445
You have gotten a lot of good advice from folks here about how to regulate your breathing during a panic attack. I have a tendency to "over-breath," or hyperventilate when I'm anxious.

But for those of us who are anxious to begin with, we can hyperventilate without even being aware of it and actually trigger a panic attack. Lucky us, right?

Hyperventilation causes dizziness, lightheadedness, a sense of unsteadiness, a feeling of un-reality and tingling around the mouth and fingertips. I'm sure other people could add even more symptoms. For me, a racing heart is part of the show. Hyperventilation results in an imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood but there are several quick and easy ways to return the balance to normal and stop the frightening symptoms.

Breathing into a small paper bag is my preferred method because I have found it to be the fastest way to restore MY balance. Some people find this method claustrophobic. I did too, especially while having a panic attack, but I got over it when I experienced how fast it worked. This method is also great if you are alone, but can be somewhat embarrassing if you're on an airplane or standing in a crowd at the mall. Mothers with small children will scurry away from the "bad person huffing drugs!" It's also difficult to explain to a State trooper on the side of the freeway why you're snorting into a paper sack. I now use this method mostly in the privacy of my own home, but I carry a stash of bags in my purse at all times.  

That is why I learned different breathing methods, some of which are described in this thread.

You can Google many different types of breathing exercises until you find one that works best for you. It's good to practice it often BEFORE you really need to use it............that way you can begin doing it before your breathing gets too far out of control.

Just know there are millions of us out here who understand breathing problems associated with anxiety and there ARE ways to control it.

Wishing you peace
Avatar universal
Technically, we are always breathing manually, it’s jusy sometimes we think about it and gives us anxiety. But to say that whenever you think about your breathing means you’re suddenly “manually breathing” is very misleading and causes anxiety.
Avatar universal
Yes, I did I think for around 2 years. Chest tight, always thinking in and out, too fast too slow. Not only breathing but the way I walked, and everything. It was like I was consciously aware of everything I was supposed to be doing subconsciously. I realized you kinda just have to trust that your body knows what it’s doing. You will breath if you don’t think about it, you can be aware of your breathing but just just let your body do it’s thang lol. Come to terms with the idea that you and your body are separate things. I know it’s weird to consider but your body functions aubcontiously and your mind functions consciously. Some things, like breathing can have a manual conscious override, but try not to unless you’re meditating or something.
Avatar universal
try focusing on your breath (or controlling your breath) and something that is happening in the moment and it will eventually go away.
Have you had this as well yungvera?
Avatar universal
I started up having “manual breathing fits” that’s never happened to me before it’s really doing a number to my head and I’m trying to just break the chain of thought. I’ve began to scare myself silly and I’m only 14. It makes it hard to concentrate but I’m trying my best. Can anyone help me?
As has been said on this thread, learning how to do abdominal breathing will break an episode, but it won't stop a pattern of thinking.  Has anything happened in your life recently that might have caused you to focus inward so much?  If you're getting into a pattern of anxious thinking and find it beyond you seeing a therapist who specializes in anxiety treatment might be the ticket you need to figure out why this has started, if you can't figure that out yourself.
Ahh, I'm sorry!  That probably feels really scared.  Do you have a phone?  My son uses a couple of things and one of them is a free app called headspace.  It has meditation and breathing things on it.  If it is hard for you to get out to do much more, you can download that app now.  How does distraction work for you?  That can be helpful too.  Hang in there and let us know how you are doing.
363281 tn?1590104173
Oh yes, when I am extra stressed  I do, it is miserable. When I am calm, I don't do that.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem and I start panicking when I begin to notice my breathing and can’t breathe right and it’s super embarrassing and people assume I’m on drugs or something and it really pisses me off
I have read more and more about this. It's not terribly uncommon for anxiety sufferers.  What type of drugs are you on?  I think it is hard too as when we are anxious, we can often breath heavier.  Then we fixate on that breathing and it's like a cycle.  I have read that breathing deep breaths through your nose will relax the sensation. Try this:
    Sit with your eyes closed
    Inhale through your nose slowly while thinking about the word “relax”
    Countdown with each slow exhales, beginning with ten until you have counted down to one
    When you reach one, imagine all the tension leaving your body, then open your eyes
In my experience learning breathing exercises from both psychologists and from Buddhist teachers who got the techniques from the Hindus and Taoists who seem to have written about this stuff earliest, it's not breathing from the nose that is the trick, although that is often recommended, it's that breathing through the nose gets you more easily to abdominal, or deep, breathing instead of the shallow breathing most of us do and that isn't as useful or relaxing.  So the trick is to learn to breathe from the abdomen, however you get there, as there are a million techniques to do so.
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