Picture, out of nowhere, you start feeling faint, weak, and your heart is beating one thousand beats per minute. You feel trapped and you cannot get a full breath. Suddenly, you start developing chest pains and your thoughts are racing. Everything around you seems to be crashing down and you finally think to yourself…this is it. Then suddenly, it all disappears and everything returns back to normal again.
Now, you may already know that that you just experienced was an anxiety attack with the same exact physical symptoms. However, you may not have known that all of these symptoms you were feeling was a cause of hyperventilation.
It is safe to accuse anxiety for causing hyperventilation. But hyperventilation is accused for many of the physical symptoms of anxiety. Hyperventilation causes so many physical problems that it is labeled as hyperventilation syndrome. It happens to those who experience panic and anxiety attacks, but may impact anyone who suffers from extreme anxiety.
Hyperventilation means to over breathe. It is not the act of getting too little air but rather breathing out carbon dioxide too quickly that causing too much oxygen in the lungs. Hyperventilation can happen when:
Anxiety causes hyperventilation which then becomes its own disorder when the hyperventilation becomes worse. That is known as “hyperventilation syndrome”. It’s when you are still experiencing hyperventilation even when anxiety is not present. Your body is essentially trained to breathe incorrectly due to extreme stress and anxiety. That is why it’s very important to understand what hyperventilation is and what causes it for those suffering from anxiety. It not only accounts for many of your worse anxiety symptoms, but it also becomes its own disorder which requires your attention.
Hyperventilation most often times does not cause harm but it does result in symptoms that resemble harmful disorders. Hyperventilation causes the carbon dioxide in your blood to drop substantially in your blood stream. Because of this imbalance of carbon dioxide and oxygen, your blood vessels constrict and your nerve cells fires uncontrollably. All of this is what leads to the many symptoms that anxiety sufferers find similar, including:
Now these symptoms alone will cause someone to go over the edge, but imagine combining them with anxiety. They will lead to even more severe anxiety and panic attacks, fears for your health, and much more.
Not only is hyperventilation caused by anxiety, but it also causes anxiety attacks. If you can somehow find a way to stop the hyperventilation, then you can reduce or potentially eliminate your anxiety altogether.
Most people don’t comprehend that they are hyperventilating until they have actually already started and their anxiety have gotten out of hand. Moreover, when you are thinking about your breathing, that is when hyperventilation will arise. You have an impulse to breathe more than you need to, so it’s not advised to go on everyday trying hard to correct your breathing. Your body knows how to breathe and how many breaths are needed per minute. Let your breathing happen naturally.
You also will need to welcome hyperventilation for what it is—a non-harmful style of breathing that is going to cause feelings of distress. This welcoming is extremely important in the recovery process because if you continually put in your head that there is something wrong with your heart, then the strategies listed below won’t be much of use. Make sure that you visit your doctor to rule out any heart deficiencies.
The following strategies below are the fastest ways to prevent hyperventilation:
If you continue to repeat this, the carbon dioxide in your body will be balanced again hence preventing further hyperventilation.