Manually breathing suggests you are in control of your breathing, so on every inhale you must suck air in and then every exhale push air out of your lungs.
It’s exhausting and stressful to go through manual breathing.
I believed I had to control my breathing in my twenties (a very anxious period of my life).
I think what happened is anxiety caused me to breath faster, and because the air moving in and out of my mouth and nose is more intense. I focused on my breathing.
Then I began to panic.. thinking if I didn’t keep pushing the air in and out then it would suddenly stop and I would die. Later I learned it’s down to my mind and anxiety.
Maybe you had a similar experience?
How do you fix manually breathing?
What helped me and from my research has helped many other people is a simple technique that proves to you that your not in control of your breathing. It is, in fact, automatic in a similar vain as your heart beats with no input from you so will your lungs take in oxygen.
- Breath out all of the oxygen in your lungs until nothing is left (don’t worry you won’t come to any harm)
- Now don’t breath back in again and keep your mouth closed for about 3 seconds.
- By this time your body will take over and prove to you there’s no way you’re going to suddenly stop breathing.
Breathing is regulated by receptors in your brain and you will not be able to suppress the urge to breathe for very long. Remember when your asleep then you’re still breathing with no conscious input from yourself.
Still, struggling with manual breathing?
Here are 3 Distraction techniques to reduce anxiety
Breathing manually is not always easy to get your head around especially when you’re freaking out and in a panic. Sometimes getting involved in activities might distract you long enough to stop thinking about it.
- Going for a walk and practising mindful walking
- Watch a Movie or TV show you like
- Get creative and paint, draw or write a story
Facing your fear and practising acceptance
Another strategy is facing conscious breathing head-on because sometimes facing your fears is the best way to solve them. Accepting you are manual breathing and telling yourself it is okay to control your breathing might take the fear and anxiety away and then you will forget your doing it in the first place.
Read this post about the origins of the deep breathing techniques.