Anyone who’s had an asthma attack knows how frightening shortness of breath can feel. Anxiety can make things worse. Create a habit of literally finding your breath, which immediately calms your nervous, heart, and respiratory systems. Practice allows you to access that state – even in a crisis.
Stress aggravates asthma. One of the most immediate ways to reduce stress is to breathe deeply. Deep breaths send a message to your brain to relax, and the brain sends that message to the rest of your body. In 1952, Russian physiologist Konstantin Buteyko designed a breathing technique to help asthma patients. The basic idea is that, when you hold your breath, carbon dioxide levels rise in the lungs, which stimulates airways to dilate. The Buteyko breathing technique teaches people to have controlled pauses in their breathing. It’s akin to the breathing pattern used while swimming. This method isn’t well researched, but a couple of studies do show benefits.
What You Need
- A comfortable chair
How it’s Done
1Sit comfortably with your hands relaxed in your lap.
2While counting slowly to four, inhale slowly and deeply.
3Hold your breath for the same number of seconds.
4Exhale for the same number of seconds.
5Try to steadily increase your times, but without causing discomfort.