so for the past month all ive done is think about my breathing and its causing me to feel like I cant breathe, I can never get my mind off it. it either feels like the oxygen isn't going down my throat or someone has a pillow over my face or im forcing myself to breathe and if I don't control it i'll stop breathing. I also get dizzy and tingling sensation all over my body. I've been to the ER twice and they took blood and did chest xray and ekg and everything came back normal. I thought that would put an end to constantly thinking about my breathing but it didn't. everyday feels like a battle to keep breathing. can anxiety really cause this???
Anxiety can make you feel horrible and it does. Especially if you're worried about a basic function like breathing. In my 20s I was at the ER a lot and every time they sent me home saying I was fine. I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm in my thirties now and still struggling. Two things that I've found really helpful when I can't catch my breath are deep belly breathing and alternate nostril breathing. I know it sounds funny since you think you can't breathe but both of these make you focus on your body and not your breath. Google them and give it a try. Anxiety is just a mind game that we fall victim to. I'm not making light of it trust me! I'm just saying if we can take little steps to change the way we fear things, little by little the anxious situations will be less. Good luck with your journey. Also go to the dr and just have a couple conversations and see if there are other tests that can ease your mind!
It sounds like you should continue your anxiety medicine since it worked for you. I have an anxiety disorder that isn't of my making, it's hereditary. This is physiological anxiety. I take my anxiety medicine as directed, but try to slowly reduce it once I'm stable for many months. Possibly you have a physiological anxiety disorder, possibly not. Anxiety DOES cause your breathing problems. When you feel dizzy or tingling that tells you that you are hyperventilating and need to slow your breathing down. Use the tips another person gave you in her answer. Sometimes a situation can cause an increase in your anxiety, but you can handle this by 1) being aware of your anxiety level 2) use techniques mentioned to slow your breathing 3) learn to direct your thinking away from anxiety-producing thoughts and place it on secure thoughts. This type of anxiety is situational anxiety.
Secure thoughts can be of many kinds. You can reassure yourself of a fear by reminding and picturing yourself in a similar situation where you've done well with no anxiety intruding. You can focus on people, places and things that you love... picturing a beautiful relaxing day at the beach, hiking in a forest, or someone's jokes you recently laughed so hard at, etc. Thoughts like "I can do this" or "I've gotten through tougher things than this before" and "I'll be just fine, no big deal", e.g. positive thinking, can help you through situational anxiety. Monitoring and slowing your breathing as needed is still helpful while doing these things.
You have heard the saying "mind over matter" there has been hundreds of studies on the process of your mind telling you all sorts of things and your body will respond to them just as if they were true. So if you think the good things your body will respond to that stimulace and the reverse is also true. That's where a good therispist comes in handy, cause a good one can help a lot.
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