SLOW/DEEP BREATHING TO DECREASE ANXIETY AND PANIC
I read where a lot of people have anxiety when it comes to wearing a CPAP mask. Sometimes this can be alleviated by going to a smaller mask. The Phillips Respironics Amara View (full face mask) would be one of those smaller masks.
Anxiety is caused by many things, Trauma, Fear and worries. Anxiety can also cause shortness of breath.
Depending on your severity of Apnea, you might be able to use a nasal mask of some kind. These are very small and might help to stop the anxiety.
Slow breathing can relieve anxiety and prevent you from having a panic attack. Personally, I think of something pleasant when I feel an anxiety attack coming and YES even after 4 years of being a CPAP user, I can still have panic attacks when I put on my mask. Granted I seem to squash them before they get going with slow breathing, closing my eyes and thinking pleasant thoughts.
There are many techniques to slow/deep breathing. Here are a few.
When you are first learning a slow breathing exercise it may be best to lay flat on your back, eyes closed, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
Hold your breath for 10 seconds, breathe out and think “relax”.
Inhale through the nose for a count of 3, then exhale through the mouth making a whooshing sound and taking a count of 3 to get the air out, again thinking “relax”.
After a minute, hold your breath again for 10 seconds. Keep repeating for 5 minutes.
Once you are comfortable doing this lying down you should practice sitting or standing. This will allow you to practice in public.
There are plenty of health benefits to slow/deep breathing also. Some benefits include
- Reduction in stress and lower blood pressure.
- Making your abdominal and intestinal muscles stronger
- Relief of general aches and pains.
- Promotes better blood flow
- Releases toxins from your body
- Promotes healthy sleep
Try doing your deep breathing for 20 minutes each day or when you feel yourself becoming anxious.
Feel free to break up your sessions into 4- 5 minutes sessions or 2 times for 10 minutes each time.
Here is one technique.
Use this method to calm yourself down.
Most of the techniques are going to be almost the same. SLOW in through the nose and SLOW out through the mouth with some variation.