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Breathing Retraining

Description of the Strategy

Breathing retraining, also referred to as diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing, is a successful method used to reduce physiological arousal or anxiety. When anxious, breathing tends to become shallow and rapid. This breathing pattern can perpetuate or even worsen the state of tension in the body by reducing the amount of oxygen being supplied to the brain. In addition, rapid, shallow breathing may result in hyperventilation, which occurs when excess carbon dioxide is in exhaled in relation to the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. People tend to hyperventilate when they are feeling anxious or tense. However, hyperventilation itself increases symptoms such as dizziness, increased heart rate, and tingling sensations, which serve to further exacerbate the anxiety. Breathing retraining ...

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