You can also write down what sensations you’re experiencing while you’re experiencing them. © 2021 Condé Nast. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Studies have shown a strong association between anxiety and respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath. Sit up comfortably in a chair or lie back on a flat surface, like your bed, with your head supported. “[People with health anxiety] often scan themselves and go back to the symptom that they had been tracking,” says McKee. My logic is, “If I can do this exercise without collapsing, my lungs are probably fine.”. A disruption in your regular breathing patterns can be alarming. If your anxiety normally presents in other ways and this shortness of breath is new for you, that’s worth noting and bringing up with your doctor or therapist via a phone call or a virtual visit. It’s a good idea to monitor your symptoms and get a checkup with your doctor to rule out any other conditions. But, it can also signal deeper physiological causes … The main way to prevent shortness of breath and other physical symptoms of anxiety is to practice techniques and learn your triggers when you’re not experiencing them. Start focusing on your breathing before the anxiety escalates. You won’t suffocate, won’t stop breathing, and won’t die from an anxiety attack. Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI, 9 Home Treatments for Shortness of Breath (Dyspnea), Anxiety: Breathing Problems and Exercises, breathlessness or a feeling of suffocation, feeling like you have a lump in your throat, heart palpitations (feels like a stronger, faster heartbeat), restlessness, irritability, or feeling on edge. Continue to take deep breaths in and out, feeling your stomach rise in and out. Breathe in slowly through you nose so your stomach moves out against your hand. Would there be space at the hospital for me if I needed to go? Medication can be a really useful option for dealing with anxiety issues like severe and persistent shortness of breath. Constantly having to take deep breaths Stomach problems with constant shortness of breath. However, after challenging this thought now in your recording, you only believe it 20 percent. With anxiety, you may not be running for your life. Your capacity to reach out for help will depend on a lot of factors. (A peak flow meter is often used to test how well people with asthma can expel air from their lungs.). Anxiety-Excessive Burping/yawning, etc. On the other hand, shortness of breath due to the new coronavirus is caused by the pathogen SARS-CoV-2. First, think about if you have a history of shortness of breath as an anxiety symptom. Under the supervision of a professional, Denise has started taking Zoloft, an antidepressant that’s also used to treat anxiety disorders. One day, I texted my sister, “How the hell am I supposed to know if my shortness of breath is from anxiety or the coronavirus?” If you’re wondering the same thing, welcome to the extremely not-fun club. Anxiety is your body’s natural fear response. All the best health and wellness advice, tips, tricks, and intel, delivered to your inbox every day. He’s right. Instead of filling the lungs with full, complete breaths, we take in quick and short breaths. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Yawning is often a mild characteristic of sleeplessness and fatigue. I’ve had anxiety since I was 12 and have experienced more nights like this than I can count. As for Millie, she’s been quarantining with her boyfriend, who’s been supportive of her during this time, and says her favorite distraction technique that helps a bit is spelling words out letter by letter on her fingers. What’s the Difference Between a Panic Attack and an Anxiety Attack? 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