Panic attacks are confused with heart attacks due to a common symptomatology, such as an accelerated breathing, dizziness and chest pain, in some cases. In order to hold back a panic attack, a good method is to slowly breathing.
There are two types of breathing: the thoracic one, which is easily detected by the thorax movement when inhaling and exhaling. And the diaphragmatic one that is easily perceived when the abdomen expands. In anxiety episodes, it frequently occurs that the individual suffering from such episodes, breaths fast using his thorax and that results in oxygen deficiency and high levels of carbon dioxide that produce dizziness, palpitations and sweating, symptoms that can be confused with a heart attack when the individual is actually suffering from a panic attack, as it is explained in the site of the United States Medicine National Library, Medline.
The medical guide written in Spanish by the UNH Medical Center, located in North Caroline, United States of America, the following steps are explained for applying the diaphragmatic breathing technique:
- Take a comfortable position. You can be standing up, sitting down or lying on your back.
- Put a hand on your chest and the other one on your stomach. The hand on your chest should not move. The hand on your stomach will allow you to feel how your stomach goes up and down when breathing.
- Inhale through your nose, if you can, during 3 to 5 seconds or as long as you feel comfortable. Allow your stomach to rise as air enters your lungs.
- Exhale through your mouth, if you can, during 3 to 5 seconds or as long as you feel comfortable. Allow your stomach to go down as the air comes out from your lungs.
- Repeat each step until your body relaxes.