The simple breathing trick to try if you feel a panic attack coming on
As our lives become speedier and speedier, the number of people reporting symptoms of panic are on the up.
We spoke to Stuart Sandeman, founder of Breathpod, about what to do if you feel an attack coming on or you’re in the middle of one…
‘Deep slowing the breath is key’, says Sandeman. ‘When we slow the breath down, we are telling the brain there is no threat. With slow inhales and exhales, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system — the ‘rest and digest’ response. In this state, the vagus nerve acts to lower the heart rate and all our systems calm down.’
Sandeman recommends trying Dr Weil’s 4-7-8 Breath; ‘It’s a serious game-changer, comparable to hitting the panic button reset, as it moves us pretty rapidly into a parasympathetic response.’
1. Inhale through the nose opening and expanding the breath into the belly for a count of four.
2. Hold the breath for a count of seven.
3. Exhale through pursed lips (creating a whooshing sound) for a count of eight.
4. Repeat four rounds (or as required).
If you are suffering from regular panic attacks, visit your GP.