Most people tend to take quick, shallow breaths (or hyperventilate) when they are feeling anxious or distressed. Unless you are in a really dangerous situation, it’s probably not necessary to breathe like this as it sends a signal to the body to prepare for danger. It can really help to get some control over our breathing when we can’t directly get control over the way we feel.
· Take a normal breath in through your nose with your mouth closed.
· Breathe out slowly through your nose or mouth and very slowly say (out loud or in your head) a word like, “calm” or “relax”.
· Count to four slowly, and then take another breath.
· Practise this a few times a day, taking 15-20 breaths like this.