Anxiety and Breathing
Last updated: July 2023
Some people haven’t heard the part about managing and controlling the anxiety that accompanies episodes of shortness of breath. It is so important that we take control of our episodes of shortness of breath. Controlling episodes of shortness of breath can take away its power over us.
The relationship between COPD, shortness of breath, and anxiety
After our diagnosis with COPD, one of the hardest things for us to overcome is episodes of shortness of breath. So, when our struggle becomes greater, and our disease progresses, the shortness of breath episodes intensify. When we can't control these episodes of shortness of breath, we become riddled with anxiety.
Anxiety tells us that something is wrong, that there is a threat. It is a warning of sorts.
In and of itself, anxiety is a good thing. It keeps us on our toes by letting us know that something is about to happen. This anxiety causes our body to produce adrenaline. Adrenaline makes our heart beat faster, giving us more energy for fight or flight. Pent-up energy makes us feel jittery and causes us to become more short of breath.
Breaking the cycle of anxiety and breathlessness
The problem with anxiety is how we perceive it. We tend to deal in black and white and good or bad. When we don't take control of our anxiety, we panic and enter the anxiety-breathless cycle.
We go round and round with no solution, allowing our minds to dictate how we will feel. This tornado of anxiety pulls everything in its field and adds to our anxiety.
Since our mind is a memory organ, our brain will react the same way next time as it did last. Only we can change the story and how it ends.
Manifesting a new outcome for shortness of breath
Manifesting means that you have a clear and present view of the story and are willing to take control of how it will play out. This means we will have a clear and present view of what is happening during our short-of-breath episodes and be willing to take control of the outcome.
Taking control of your breathing:
- You must manifest taking control at the first sign of shortness of breath.
- Find someplace to sit and be comfortable.
- Keep your back straight.
- Shoulders lowered.
- Put your hands on your knees, palms up.
- Find and focus on an object to help you ground yourself.
- Using purse lip breathing, inhale through the nose, and slowly and gently exhale through the mouth for longer than you inhaled.
- Keep your mind in the present, and control and slow your breath.
- Practice, practice and more practice
This anxiety happened over time, and reversing its power over us will also take time. Our brain is a memory organ, so it can learn and can and will unlearn.
Practice often, envision your successful outcome, and put it into operation. Do you have something that helps you when you have shortness of breath? Please share them with us in the comments.
Do you feel comfortable asking your doctor questions about your COPD?