How Breathing Can Get You Less Anxiety and Better Health

Summary

There are many studies that have shown a strong association between anxiety and respiratory symptoms.

Some symptoms that can occur during this response and as a result of anxiety include:

faster breathing (hyperventilation) breathe faster lungs cannot process the air and remove oxygen, chest tightness, breathlessness or a feeling of suffocation, feeling like you have a lump in your throat, muscle tension, heart palpitations (feels like a stronger, faster heartbeat), feeling faint, dizzy, or unsteady, nausea or stomach discomfort, restlessness, irritability, or feeling on edge

When you feel anxiety Your body goes into fight or flight and prepares and wants to get more oxygen to the muscles. But what actually happens is that the amount of oxygen  that your body can use is reduced. So you need to slow the breathing. Hold the breath for longer periods. Allow the lungs the time to extract the oxygen and put it into the bloodstream. These are normal symptoms and are meant to be life saving. There may be others that are a better fit for your situation. They were meant to get you running top speed in the fastest period of time. If you don’t need to run you might want to look at changing your body to  not prepare you for it.

You might not even know if you are a mouth breather. Here are  some symptoms you might have if you are.

Snoring

dry mouth

bad breath (halitosis)

Hoarseness

waking up tired and irritable

chronic fatigue

brain fog

dark circles under the eyes

There are numerous causes of mouth breathing like congestion, nasal polyps, enlarged adenoids or tonsils, and lastly behaviors like smoking can increase your mouth breathing.  So there are many different treatments. Here are some ways to prevent mouth breathing.

Using saline nasal mists and sprays and nasal decongestants or allergy reliever medications at the first sign of allergy or cold symptoms

My favorite is a cocktail of essential oils ⅓ part lemon, peppermint, and lavender oils. Can be sprayed in either mouth or nose and it will burn out any mucus in your airways.

Sleeping on your back with your head elevated to open up the airways and promote nasal breathing

Keeping your house clean and free of allergens

Installing air filters in your heat and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to prevent the spread of allergens in your house

Consciously practicing breathing through your nose during the day to help force yourself into a habit of nose breathing

If you’re experiencing stress or anxiety, it may help to engage in yoga or meditation practice.

Yoga is beneficial for people who breathe through their mouths as a result of stress because it focuses on deep breathing through the nose.

Restorative yoga is designed to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and promote slower deep breathing through the nose.

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