Have you noticed that deep breathing can make you feel more anxious, dizzy and lightheaded? One of the many components of being anxious is mild hyperventilation or over-breathing. You take in more oxygen than is needed and this can lead to some uncomfortable feelings. Your chest can feel tight, your nose can become blocked and you can start to feel dizzy, nauseous and faint.

Then if you start to do deep breathing, we can become even more conscious of our body which can make us worry more. Deep breathing also means taking in more oxygen leading to more physical discomfort and sometimes panicky feelings.

What can you do instead?

When you start to feel anxious try and breathe out slowly for three seconds and then start to notice what is around you. Take your focus away from your body and your breathing and begin to notice the sky and clouds above you, pictures on the wall or houses as you walk down the street. Really start to focus upon what you can see….notice colours, count the number of houses in the street, notice the shapes that the clouds make….and then choose what would be the most helpful activity for you in that moment – make a cup of tea, call a friend, have a shower. As your brain takes in the world around you it starts to activate the part of the central nervous system that helps to calm your body.

At MCCP the therapy is focused upon helping to relieve the anxiety symptoms and helping you to understand how to manage the worries and problems differently. Talking through your concerns with a Clinical Psychologist can be a really helpful step. Please phone us to arrange a session with one of our Clinical Psychologists at a time that would suit you.