February 3, 2018 at 12:23 am #10934Lauree KellyParticipant
I know that meditation and breathing exercises are suppose to help us breathe better, but that does not help me when I can’t catch my breathe. I am terrified and can’t think about all of the techniques I have learned. Does anyone have any tricks.
February 3, 2018 at 3:07 am #10936
Thank you so much for joining the PF forums, and welcome! I am so glad you took the time to join and share your question. Since the forum was just launched today, we’re hoping to continue to grow membership in the coming weeks (please share with your networks as you see fit). That being said, I’d love to talk with you more about this. When you refer to needing tricks to reduce shortness of breath or increasing your ability to breathe, do you mean in general, or while you’re trying to exercise and be active? I think the techniques you could try could be very different depending on whether you’re sitting stationary or while you are trying to exercise. Do you use any type of inhaler? Are you on oxygen right now? Please share with me some more information and I can definitely share with you some tips on what my physiotherapist and respirologist have suggested for me to try and reduce my shortness of breath. It may not work for you of course, as it was a program tailored to me, but worth a try right? I look very forward to hearing back from you and welcome again.
February 10, 2018 at 11:21 pm #11070Rick WeldonParticipant
I have not discussed this with my doctor yet but when i have a shortness of breath attack, I turn my air up to 10 or 15 LPM’s and work on slow deep breaths. I do understand the panic and not really being able to focus, but that is what helps me the most. I am on 2 LPM quiet and 8 LPM during exertion.
February 11, 2018 at 2:16 am #11075
Welcome to the forums, and thank you so much for contributing to this topic! I do something similar as you, in that I turn up my oxygen usage (sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t be turning it up so high…) and ensure I am sitting down comfortably. Have you found any sitting positions help you more than others? Just in recent months, I deliberately sit at a 90 degree angle when I can’t breathe well, with my feet on the floor, head straight up and I try to push my shoulders back, almost as if this posture is opening up my airway a bit better. I don’t actually know if this is helpful physiologically, but it seems to help calm my mind a bit and makes me feel like it helps.
Thanks again for sharing,
February 14, 2018 at 5:45 pm #11182gilParticipant
“I know that meditation and breathing exercises are suppose to help us breathe better, but that does not help me when I can’t catch my breathe. I am terrified and can’t think about all of the techniques I have learned. Does anyone have any tricks.”
A friend who teaches Mindfulness gave me this trick and it usually helps me….. When I get anxious or for whatever reason I can’t seem to focus on breathing techniques especially when my heart and mind seem to be racing, I say “STOP!” – doing this usually returns me to a state of mind which is more receptive to reducing anxiety and improving breathing. When I say or shout Stop the image of a stop-sign pops up and I start controlling my breathing and I calm down.
February 15, 2018 at 3:05 am #11194
Wow, that is so interesting Gil… thanks for sharing! There must be a powerful visual to voice connection there for you, as you have described voicing the word stop and the visual of a stop sign appears. I’m so glad you have this technique.
Another few things that help really ‘ground’ myself when I am anxious and am having a hard time breathing are:
- Sitting at a 90 degree angle with my feet placed firmly on the floor and my back supported, I try to use my leg muscles to push them as deep into the ground as I can. This usually sends more signals down my legs and into my feet so I am not thinking as much about my breathing or inability to do so.
- Having someone just sit beside me when I go through periods of shortness of breath is helpful too. I don’t need (or want) them to talk because I can’t talk in those moments, but my friend has gotten in the habit of sitting beside me and rubbing my back which helps calm me down.
- I also try to use a visual mindfulness technique too, which includes visualizing blowing up a balloon for deep exhales and shrinking the balloon again with inhales.
Not sure if any of these techniques work for others?
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