I’m no doctor but onetime when I was having a panic attack I made up the best breathing exercise for myself. If I am having a panic attack or on the verge of having one I always focus on my breathing. It definitely helps calm you down. There are a lot of different breathing exercises out there but I had a hard time remembering them when I was in the middle of losing my shit while having a panic attack.
That is how I came up with the 5-5-5 method. At the time I was panicking and thinking what the hell am I supposed to be doing? Inhale for how many seconds? Hold it for what? Then exhale for how long? I know the 4-7-8 method is popular but when I was freaking out I couldn’t remember if it was 4-7-8, 8-7-4 or 7-4-8. I was having anxiety about remembering it while having a panic attack.
Then I just thought hell 5 is close to 4,7&8 and I don’t think it will kill me to do all the steps for 5 seconds so I just started doing it and now I do it every time I feel my anxiety getting bad. It is easy to remember at a time when it feels impossible to think about anything other than my anxiety. All I think about is 5-5-5 and I know I can handle it.
It is pretty self explanatory if you have done breathing exercises before.
Here is My Easy to Remember 5-5-5 Breathing Exercise
- Inhale slowly for 5 seconds
- Hold your breath for 5 seconds
- Exhale slowly for 5 seconds
- Repeat until you feel calm again
That is it! If you are panicking just remember 5-5-5. It is the most important thing.
If you have the ability please focus on these tips-
- Do abdominal breathing- watch your stomach rise and fall or put your hand on your stomach to feel it rise and fall. (reason for the above picture )
- Breathe in and out through your nose
If you feel like you got this breathing shit then try these tips-
- Say “Relax” out loud or in your head while exhaling
- Cover one nostril at a time- use your finger to close one nostril and just let the other nostril do the breathing for one inhale, hold & exhale. Then switch nostrils. Keep switching as long as it helps.
I hope this helps you. Please give it a try the next time you are feeling anxious if you don’t already have something that works for you.