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Anyone else have trouble with deep breathing?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by justmike, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. justmike

    justmike Peer Supporter

    I've done quite a bit of reading since I started my TMS journey nearly a year ago. One common thread in everything I've read is this concept of deep breathing through the belly. It "calms the nervous system" and "connects you to your emotions", etc.

    I actually have trouble with this. Whenever I try to just lay there and take deep breaths, I start feeling like I can't breathe after just a few minutes. My stomach, chest and neck feel tight and the breathing doesn't feel natural or relaxing at all.

    Anyone else have this problem?
    linnyc87 and jaumeb like this.
  2. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    Hyperventilation will push us towards the fight or flight mode of operation. In my opinion, the way to go is breath observation. This is what is used in meditation. The breathing slowly becomes shallow as the mindbody calms down.
  3. Jamo

    Jamo New Member

    I used to feel like that too when I first started deep breathing but I promise you that if you persevere the feeling goes away. I found I had to start with perhaps a minute and slowly build up so a year later I can do 20 minutes. I too found it unnatural but that was because I used to breathe really shallow in my chest taking tiny, tense sips of air and I used to keep my stomach sucked in all the time.

    I also focus on my belly and imagine the air filling it (even though I know the air doesn't actually go down there!) as I breathe in and then I imagine it all being squeezed out as I exhale. I think this helps me because I used to carry a lot of tension in my chest and throat so focussing on my belly distracts me from it. I still have a lot of tension in my throat which causes me problems sometimes but I certainly feel more relaxed in my chest area.

    I have also tried various different breathing 'counts'. I used to do 4 second inhaling, hold 4 seconds, exhale 4 seconds, hold 4 seconds but now I tend to do inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds then exhale for 8 seconds and I really like this one. Maybe you need to try a different ratio that works better for you and which feels more natural. I am sure you know this but inhale through your nose and and then exhale through your mouth with your lips slightly parted. This enables you to get a longer time exhaling than inhaling which is important. I also sit on the edge of my bed doing my deep breathing. Personally I find this easier as I suppose you don't have gravity acting against your belly when you are trying to breath into it.
    linnyc87 and justmike like this.

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