Can Anxiety Cause Shortness Of Breath? 

Written by Tricia Thompson
Published On
Can Anxiety Cause Shortness Of Breath

Breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, tightness, are you having trouble breathing? What if anxiety was responsible for this abnormal breathing? Apart from diagnosed pathologies, illnesses, health problems, smoking, and poor breathing can be caused by anxiety. With it, breathing can be Jerky, accelerate, lead to hyperventilation, and become thoracic.

Anxious and stressed people often express respiratory discomfort: a feeling of lack of air, chest pain, feeling of blocked breathing, and obstructed or congested airways. When anxiety affects our respiratory spheres, the body goes into a state of alert: heart rate and blood prayer skyrockets. Regaining control of your breathing, and mastering it better allows you to reduce anxiety and better tame it.

The link between Anxiety and breathing

 Anxiety and breathing

According to Chinese medicine, air and energy are one and form Qi. Every Time You breathe, you push this force, ensuring the circulation of energy in the body, the meridians. The better you breathe, the more energy flows in harmony. If we base ourselves on a less holistic approach, the link between anxiety and breathing was demonstrated by the American study of the Salk Institute, researchers realize that the neurons that influence negative emotions pass through the amygdala, but also pass through another area involved in the regulation of respiratory rhythms called the Botzinger.

Mastering deep breathing has relaxing effects. Awareness of breathing has been proven to come from our stress response by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. Researchers have identified in mice a set of neurons located deep in the brainstem and maintaining communication between breathing and relaxation. This cluster located at the center of a neuronal group is considered the epicenter of respiratory stimulation.

Does anxiety cause shortness of breath?

Hyperventilation: facing a stress crisis 

Hyperventilation accelerates breathing which becomes jerky. The respiratory rate is much more sustained, we then have the impression of having made intense physical efforts, of having run a marathon, and therefore shortness of breath is felt. Under the effect of an anxiety attack or during an attack of spasmophilia, the respiratory amplitude increases.

The stressed person then has the feeling of being deprived of air and compensates for this oxygen deficit with deeper and more numerous breaths.

Although at first glance this respiratory dysfunction caused by anxiety is benign, repercussions of the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood are observed after a period of hyperventilation. The oxygen level increases and CO2 is expelled in greater proportion during exhalation. The reduction of carbon dioxide in the blood causes side effects: fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, hot flashes, and feeling of suffocation. These symptoms increase panic and stress, the person is afraid of losing consciousness.

Also Read: Cinnamon Tea Benefits For Staying Healthy

Thoracic breathing: Can cause chronic shortness of breath?

Anxiety can transform breathing into thoracic breathing which contributes to a feeling of oppression. This type of breathing only works the upper area of the thorax to the detriment of the abdomen. The lungs are therefore not fully used: they only fill up with air to 30% of their capacity. In cases of anxiety, chest breathing increases this unpleasant feeling of lack of air can cause chest pain and interfere with deep breathing.

Deep breathing is essential to relax and counter stress. To reconnect with deep breathing, you must focus on your way of breathing to achieve so-called abdominal breathing. Abdominal breathing involves the inflation of the stomach, and then the lungs.

The consequences of poor breathing amplified by anxiety 

Breathing difficulties such as hyperventilation or chest breathing in cases of anxiety remain trivial problems. The major danger lies in the repetitive aspect of the crisis, The chronic nature of the stress. A vicious cycle is established, and respiratory distress also exacerbates anxiety. Recurring breathing problems caused by anxiety can cause heart fatigue. This difficulty increases heart rate as well as blood pressure.

Respiratory problems lead to chronic and muscular fatigue and shortness of breath. When asthma manifests itself due to stress, worsening can occur. Hyperventilation can cause dizziness, headache, and thoracic breathing characteristics of the state of nervous agitation prevent optimal oxygen supply to the cells, which results in poor elimination of toxins present in the body.

Solutions to control anxiety and breathing 

Anxiety is observed through manifestations affecting the respiratory sphere, however, it can be controlled through breathing, the link between the two therefore seems bidirectional. What solution should we adopt when we have difficulty breathing in the event of anxiety or panic attacks? How to better control your breathing to overcome stressful episodes? Shortness of breath or dyspnea is characterized by difficulty breathing. We find ourselves out of breath. Lung diseases and anemia can explain abnormal shortness of breath which does not occur after physical exertion.

However, strong emotions are aggravating factors in these breathing difficulties. Due to shallow breathing, pulmonary air is not renewed effectively. We lack oxygen, we feel out of breath and we panic.

Cardiac coherence: The solution to combat shortness of breath linked to stress

Cardiac coherence can calm stress-related shortness of breath. Nervousness, impatience, anger, and anxiety lead to disordered changes in heart rate. To feel fulfilled and serene is to achieve cardiac variability, that is to say, full and regular breathing. When you achieve this coherence, you free yourself from your anxiety, and from your nervous tensions. To practice cardiac coherence, you must perform six breaths per minute for 5 minutes and three times a day. To summarize, this amounts to inhaling for 5 seconds and then exhaling for 5 seconds and six times in a row.

Final thoughts

Are you overworked, stress is overwhelming you, or do you need to take a breather? Do you feel oppressed, and anxiety takes your breath away? Go stretch your legs and get some fresh air to breathe deeply and clear your head to relieve stress. Afghan working is excellent for clearing your airways and allowing you to decompress. It increases respiratory capacity, slows heart rates, and provides well-being and intense relaxation.

Also discover the no-stress flash supplement, a supplement that will be of great help to you in the event of an anxiety or panic attack. It will help you calm your stress peaks, Which are often synonymous with loss of energy, stuttering, excessive sweating, and respiratory problems.

Written by

Tricia Thompson

Tricia Thompson, MD, is a board-certified physician with over 15 years of experience practicing general medicine. She completed her medical training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she graduated top of her class. Dr. Thompson runs a private practice in Seattle, WA, where she specializes in providing comprehensive care for patients of all ages. With a dedication to continuing education, Dr. Thompson regularly attends medical conferences and reads peer-reviewed journals to stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in treatments and technologies. She is a member of the American College of Physicians and is affiliated with multiple respected hospitals and medical centers.

Learn More

Leave a Comment