4 Quick and Effective Breathing Exercises to Conquer Overwhelming Anxiety in Minutes

Discover Quick Relief with Proven Breathing Techniques: Master Your Anxiety with Simple Exercises Designed to Halt Panic Attacks Fast

Respira Logo
Team Respira
17 Apr 2023
10 min read
RESPIRA Master Anxiety

Anxiety & Breathing

Gaining more attention in recent years, panic attack breathing exercises have become a popular and successful way to halt the onset of panic attacks. By taking control of your breath with these strategies, you can eliminate the impact anxiety has on your life within minutes. Here we’ll discuss how they work, different types available as well as helpful tips for establishing resilience against future bouts of panicking. With some practice and dedication to calming techniques such as mindful breathing exercises, you will be able to take charge over intense moments, improving mental health day by day one conscious breath at a time!

Key Takeaways

• Understand the interplay between breathing patterns, fight-or-flight response and physical symptoms to effectively manage panic attacks.

• Utilize breathing exercises such as diaphragmatic breathing, 4-7-8 technique or box breathing to reduce anxiety and induce relaxation.

• Develop strategies for better managing anxiety by identifying triggers, practicing self care & lifestyle changes and establishing a strong support network.

Anxiety breathing

Understanding Panic Attacks and Their Symptoms

Panic attacks are sudden occurrences of intense fear and panic that come without warning. Physical signs include rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, chest discomfort plus feelings like terror and doom. For the majority of these episodes, a single factor is responsible, our breath! In order to minimize this reaction, one must take charge with breathing techniques such as belly breaths, which switch on the body’s calming parasympathetic nervous system response to stress or danger, lessening anxiety levels quickly in moments where feeling out-of-control prevails. Knowing about how inhalation can affect panic allows us increased command over symptoms: shortness of breath, rapidly beating hearts, dreadfulness together with a lack of power.

Triggers of Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be caused by a range of things, such as stress and trauma to major changes in life, and different triggers for different people. Health issues, medications or overuse thereof, caffeine intake and sensitive reactions to certain events may contribute too. With specific reference to strain resulting in an activated ‘fight-or-flight’ response that elicits physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath and sweating which only serves to heighten panic attacks further. Anxiety related disorders such as Panic Disorder might develop from past traumatic experiences while reminders associated could cause those suffering PTSD similar bouts too.

Recognizing personal catalysts would help individuals better cope with their episodes at prevent them altogether where possible – paramount when managing one’s overall anxieties state since understanding what instigates these symptoms is key here.

Physical Symptoms

Panic attacks and their physical symptoms can be quite disturbing. These may include a rapid heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, chest pain or dizziness. All of which stem from the body’s natural response to stress and anxiety, such as the release of hormones like adrenaline that raise heart rate and blood pressure. In terms of chest pains experienced during panic attacks, these are usually sharp or stabbing sensations localized mid-chest unlike those felt when having a heart attack where one experiences tightness or pressure there instead. The intense emotional state plus extreme bodily reactions associated with panicking also lead to feelings ranging from faintness to being off balance, hence why it is important for individuals experiencing such events not mistake them for more serious medical issues.

Emotional Symptoms

Panic attacks can cause emotional distress, like terror, fear and a feeling of having no control over one’s own thoughts or emotions. This experience is commonly accompanied by physical sensations such as an increased heart rate, shortness of breath and trembling muscles. People who have had panic attacks may also feel disconnected from reality. To the sensation that everything is going wrong rapidly. Giving them a sense they are losing their minds.

Recognizing these psychological symptoms associated with anxiety-driven episodes might help someone gain better understanding about what type of events trigger them and how best to manage those triggers more successfully when needed. Understanding various indicators during periods of heightened stress could be key for developing effective coping mechanisms amid high levels of panic.

The Power of Breathing Exercises in Managing Panic Attacks

A person practicing deep breathing exercises to help with panic attacks

Breathing exercises can be a helpful tool in managing panic attacks, as they help to regulate the body’s response to stress and facilitate relaxation. Deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing both work by activating the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for calming down both mind and body. By taking time to practice these methods regularly, people are able to gain better control over their breath. Leading them towards alleviating anxiety levels within themselves while improving mental health overall.\

Doing so also helps build resilience against future panic episodes. Teaching an individual how best deal with anxious situations that may occur on a daily basis throughout life experience. This process of activation enables individuals to manage distressful or uncomfortable feelings more effectively - through reducing heart rate blood pressure - creating an overarching sense of peace.

How Breathing Exercises Work

Breathing techniques, particularly deep and slow breathing exercises, can activate the parasympathetic nervous system resulting in relaxation and calming of the body. Activation induces a “rest and digest” state thereby relieving panic attack symptoms like decreased heart rate, constricted blood vessels & enhanced control over amygdala for diminishing stress & worry. Meditations with gentle touches to lips also kick start this process leading to reduced anxiety levels as well as averting Attacks.

Scientific support backing up utilization of breath work is quite profound evidenced by studies which have exhibited promotion in autonomic changes, improved respiratory sinus arrhythmia plus higher variability index, regulation against generalized anxiety disorder along with managed fight or flight reflexes & temper modulation among others alongside abatement in physiological arousal due primarily upon understanding mechanics behind it all enabling us to practice breathing exercises and use same on regular basis curtailing any chances towards undue uneasiness or onset hysteria states respectively effectively making sure that we stay calm amid critical situations prevailing around us amply assisted via such therapeutic measures

Benefits of Practicing Breathing Techniques

Practicing breathing exercises regularly can yield many advantages, including diminished stress levels and heightened focus. Deep breathing techniques such as belly breathing, breathwork or simple approaches like the relaxing breath are key components of increasing your mental health, reducing anxiety symptoms while also bolstering protection from Panic attacks. With dedication to acquiring these skills and applying them in everyday life, you will improve how you respond to current anxious episodes along with preparing yourself for future ones too.

Top Breathing Exercises for Panic Attack Relief

Breath Flow

Panic attacks can have severe emotional and physical symptoms, so it’s important to know how to stop them. Breathing exercises are one of the most effective methods for reducing anxiety levels in these situations. Deep breathing is known as abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing and helps by activating your body’s relaxation response. The 4-7-8 technique created by Dr Andrew Weil involves inhaling four counts, holding seven count breaths while exhaling eight. Box breathing consists of a deep breath followed by an equal hold time before expelling all the air from lungs at once again with the same period leading to calming down stress responses that could prevent panic attacks and episodes. Regular practice will provide stronger control over their experiences during such events besides helping reduce severity and frequency altogether.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is a helpful practice which can lower anxiety levels and relax the body. To do it, one should lie on their back with bent knees and head supported while placing one hand over the upper chest area while keeping another one at the bottom abdomen region. Then take in air slowly through your nose as you focus on making sure that only your stomach rises when doing so. This process of intentional inhalation from the diaphragm ought to last between 2-5 minutes each day until becoming normal action for oneself.It has been noted by experts that regular use of this technique not only lessens symptoms related to panic attacks such as rapid heartbeat or breathlessness, but also helps individuals who are coping with conditions like panic disorder gain control over these episodes more effectively compared to prior circumstances without its utilization. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing creates an effective shield against future panics. To promote overall mental health benefits.

Box Breathing Technique

For those experiencing panic attacks, box breathing is an effective tool for calming down. This breathing exercise mostly involves taking deep breaths in and out through the nose while counting up to four on each inhale and exhale. A pause should then be taken at both points when holding one’s breath. Sitting upright with feet flat on the floor assists greatly throughout this process of controlling anxiety levels by slowing down erratic respiration rates that can accompany severe fear or distress-related events like these kinds of panics.Regular practice using this technique not only strengthens resistance against such episodes, but helps improve overall mental health as well – reducing stress, promoting relaxation, increasing focus etc. - so long-term results are definitely attainable!

4-7-8 Breathing Technique

The 4-7-8 breathing technique, designed by Dr. Andrew Weil, is an effective way of managing panic attacks and promoting relaxation. To execute this breath exercise during a bout of fear or stress, it’s essential to carry out the following steps: 1) Choose a comfortable spot where you can either sit up or recline. 2) If able to do so, close your eyes. 3) Let all air escape from your mouth with a whoosh sound as you exhale completely. 4 ) As softly inhaling through your nose count till four while holding that intake for seven counts ; 5 ) Breath slowly and completely out via mouth until eight count while making a whooshing noise again. 6 Repeat these cycles several times as desired until feeling calmer.This method gives great benefits in terms of handling anxiety episodes - reducing tension level,triggering parasympathetic nervous system (which takes care of resting & digestion processes), assisting individuals into control over their emotions using mindful respiration techniques. Including daily deep breaths workouts will help people improve their mental health state significantly diminishing anxieties probabilities as well as nourishing mind versus unexpected panic attacks.

Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique

Alternate nostril breathing is a cornerstone in yogic breathing techniques that can harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, thus promoting balance. It involves alternately closing one nostril while breathing through the other, using a hand in a pursed lips position, which can have a therapeutic effect on the nervous system.

Additional Strategies for Coping with Panic Attacks

Yoga Meditation

Managing panic attacks is possible through breathing exercises as well as other helpful strategies such as progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness and grounding techniques. Seeking a mental health professional for help can be an invaluable support in building resilience against future episodes of anxiety or panic. To effectively cope with these issues it might require a combination of methods – exploring different approaches while reaching out to friends, family members and mental health professionals for assistance could lead to improved overall mental wellbeing without the crushing effects associated with panic attacks.

Mindfulness and Grounding

Individuals can reduce their anxiety and gain control over panicky emotions by making use of grounding techniques like the 5-4-3-2-1 method. This involves paying attention to what is seen, heard, touched, smelled or tasted in order to divert attention from feelings of panic. Regularly incorporating mindfulness practices such as meditation into daily life has been proven effective for managing mental health issues like panic attacks – bringing a sense of serenity and security back within reach.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

The use of progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) has been established as an effective means for relieving stress, tension, and other anxiety disorders. Developed in the 1920s by Edmund Jacobson, PMR involves engaging muscles throughout the body with rhythmic tensing and releasing exercises to create a sense of physical comfort that leads to mental serenity. This technique is especially useful in mitigating symptoms associated with panic attacks such as excessive muscular tension or pressure felt throughout one’s body - it allows individuals struggling from these episodes to feel relieved after calming their physiology through relaxed breathing techniques while actively tightening/loosening specific sets of muscles at designated intervals. When practiced regularly over time, PMR can be used very effectively against recurring signs typical during times when experiencing a high amount of distress. Providing both psychological ease along side beneficial physiological effects!

Seeking Professional Help

Professionals such as therapists and psychiatrists can provide vital support in helping individuals manage panic attacks. Mental health treatments, like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), have been proven to be effective for treating panic disorder, which may involve facing feared situations or working on how to reframe thoughts around an attack itself. These professionals could also assist with managing symptoms that stem from underlying mental illnesses like anxiety and depression through medications prescribed specifically for this purpose. Seeking out professional help gives those struggling with a full range of resources needed when it comes to effectively combating the fear associated with panicking episodes.

Building Resilience Against Panic Attacks

By taking action and becoming proactive in managing worry and panic attacks, individuals have the chance to lessen both their occurrence as well as severity over time. Finding out what causes your anxiety is a must-do step. Then develop self-care techniques along with lifestyle modifications while at the same time building strong relationships for support from those around you such as family or professional mental health providers – all of this will result in increased resilience against panic attacks.

This form of positive approach can aid one’s general psychological wellbeing by allowing them to take charge again instead of being captive under assaulting thoughts related to panicky feelings arising when facing unknown situations that were once thought impossible. It enables us to put into practice these strategies so they become part of everyday living, providing control over unease despite moments where confusion or terror may be present.

Identifying Triggers

In order to bolster resilience and properly control anxiety, it is important for individuals to recognize the causes of panic attacks. Likely triggers include stressors such as strain from relationships or finances, adverse reactions brought on by medications, and a history of traumatic occurrences. Being aware of these potential inducements helps people be prepared in case they experience an attack. Thus permitting better regulation going forward.

It can also prove beneficial when tracking patterns that may cause panic episodes - logging entries through starting a diary/journaling process, utilizing a self-monitoring record regarding panic spells or making use of an application designed specifically for those purposes are good approaches worth implementing should one need help figuring out what provokes their personal agitations. Determining the sources behind someone’s anxiety gives them the ability to manage said anxieties more efficiently over time, by minimizing its frequency and intensity whenever possible.

Self-Care and Lifestyle Changes

Engaging in self-care and shifting daily habits can have a remarkable impact on one’s anxiety levels as well as their overall mental health. Here are some tactics to consider.

Regular physical activity is recommended, which has been found effective for bettering mental condition by decreasing panic attacks and boosting moods alike.

Eating right will ensure the body gets all of its necessary nutrients to uphold healthy brain functioning while alleviating stress associated with disordered eating patterns that exacerbate high anxiety states (panic).

Getting enough sleep allows the hormones regulating this basic need time to balance out Diminishing any occurrences of anxious feelings or episodes.

Support Networks

Having a strong support system is paramount in helping people deal with panic attacks. This network can include family, friends and mental health professionals that offer companionship and understanding during difficult times while also providing advice on managing anxiety and stress levels.

Sharing one’s experiences coupled with guidance from the members of this vital circle is immensely helpful as it helps individuals gain new perspectives, suggestions for strategies to use when tackling these issues, plus encouragement along their path towards dealing effectively with panic disorders.

It’s important to remind yourself that you don’t need to struggle alone, an effective connection within your personal support system has the potential to make all the difference between coping successfully or not in relation to overcoming any obstacles related to panicking or other symptoms may arise.


The journey to living a life free of the debilitating effects of panic attacks can be achieved through practicing breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques and incorporating healthy lifestyle changes. Panic attack triggers should be identified for proper self-care strategies with support from family, friends and mental health professionals. With dedication and perseverance it is possible to gain control over anxiety by using these breath work tools in order breathe into more balance and calmness.


How to do 4 7 8 breathing method for panic attacks?

Inhale through the nose for a count of four while in a relaxed position, then hold your breath until you reach seven before slowly breathing out from the mouth over eight counts. Practicing this 4-7-8 technique can help relieve stress and calm your mind.

What is the 3 3 3 rule anxiety?

Anxiety has a way of making one’s mind drift. The 3-3-3 Rule is an easy technique that can help to center oneself in the moment and ease anxious thoughts. To use this method, simply observe three things around you – what do you see? Listen for three distinct sounds, what can you hear? Finally, move your body. Clench your fists or curl your toes! This practice will keep anxieties at bay and bring awareness back into our bodies.

What is the first aid of panic attack?

Comfort the person going through a panic attack. Ask them to try their best in focusing on taking slow and deep breaths both with nose and mouth. Give positive assurance that they are doing fine, then give small sips of water for Calming down effects. Remind this person that everything will be alright despite experiencing such an event as a panic attack.

What are the common triggers of panic attacks?

Panic attacks can be caused by various factors such as stress, relationship issues, financial concerns, medication side effects and trauma. Keywords like panic or panic attack should help people recognize these episodes in their lives.


Get started with Respira today.

Explore the science behind breathwork and start transforming your life today with RESPIRA

App Store Google Play Store
Try now

More Articles

Stay updated with our latest breathwork blog posts

Sleep Better

Fall Asleep Faster with These 10 Proven Breathing Techniques

Did you know that proper breathing techniques can be the key to unlocking a good night’s sleep?
Team Respira
11 Jan 2022
5 min read
Improve HRV

Discover the Surprising Benefits of Breathing Exercises for Heart Rate

Imagine a simple, natural way to regulate your heart rate, reduce stress, and improve your well-being.
Team Respira
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

Beyond the Basics: 4 Unique Styles of Box Breathing for Managing Stress and Anxiety

Beyond the Basics: 4 Unique Styles of Box Breathing for Managing Stress and Anxiety
Team Respira
11 Jan 2022
5 min read
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Breathwork Newsletter Icon
Subscribe for release updates, breathwork, music and more. No spam!