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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Calming breathing techniques

Rautaki whakamarino hā

Continued over-breathing can leave you feeling exhausted or on edge. This makes it more likely that you will respond to stressful situations with extreme anxiety and panic. To gain control over your breathing, you need to slow your breathing rate. You also need to change your breathing style.

Try to practise at least once a day at a time when you can relax relatively free from distraction. Try to set aside some time each day.

This technique can slow your breathing and reduce your general anxiety. It can even help to reduce your anxiety when you are in an anxious situation.

If you have anxiety and have panic attacks, you might like to try a belly breathing exercise. In this technique you learn to breathe out fully. You also learn to take proper deep breaths using your diaphragm and not just your chest muscles.

On the next page: Progressive muscle relaxation

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2023.

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Page reference: 102479

Review key: HIRLT-102470