Difficulty breathing can be very stressful, and stress can lead to more difficulty breathing. It’s a cycle that does not benefit the body. Initial trouble breathing might come as a result of triggering our body’s fight or flight response, which accelerates heart rate and quickens breath. Can breathing give you tension? Take the quiz.
Stress and Breathing
If your body is always in fight or flight response mode, shallow breathing might become a habit. Shallow breathing is when the minimal breath is drawn into the lungs. And your body is not fully absorbing oxygen.
This, in turn, activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is in direct correlation with anxiety, panic attacks, and stress. As it worsens, other physical symptoms of stress and tension occur in the body from shallow or dysfunctional breathing.
Causes and Treatment of Shallow Breathing
While shallow breathing can onset symptoms itself, its causes may be entirely separate. Shallow breathing that causes tension in the body may be attributed to infection of the lungs, chronic conditions like asthma or COPD, anxiety disorders, and more.
Depending on the cause, treatment for shallow breathing may vary. Antibiotics, oxygen therapy, and breathing machines may all be used. Another approach would be to practice other techniques and exercises for breathing, such as rhythmic breathing, breathing mindfully, and simply practicing full breaths through the nose and diaphragm.
A Note from GR8NESS
If you feel that you may be experiencing shallow or dysfunctional breathing, consider consulting with a physician. If symptoms worsen, do not hesitate to seek emergency assistance.