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My therapist gave me a huge package of sheets about anxiety disorders, depression, Cognitive Behavioral Skills, and Panic Disorders. In the Panic Disorders section it talked a bit about over-breathing.

It's not exactly hyperventilation, it is pretty much what it is, you are breathing in too much and not exhaling enough. Apparently people in panic situations or anxiety-inducing situations tend to do this.

Here are some of the symptoms that I recognized for myself;

  • Dizziness
  • light-headedness
  • confusion
  • breathlessness
  • blurred vision
  • numbness/tingling to the extremes
  • cold, clammy hands
  • musicle stiffness
  • hot/flushed/sweaty
  • exhaustion
  • sigh/yawn a lot

And all of this is just from you breathing too much! I tend to do this on a regular, not just when I'm in an anxious situation.

If you want to learn more about it the package is available as a PDF file here: http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=44
 

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Interesting link and overview. I think it explains at least two of the symptoms I regularly experience (numbness/tingling at the extremes, sigh/yawn a lot). This is very helpful as I never directly associated breathing with these things even though it seems somewhat obvious in hindsight.
 

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My breathing is not as good as it could/should be, either. I find that when I'm stressed or anxious, I tend to breathe in a lot, and hardly ever exhale. People around me have noticed that too.

I've found that regular exercise, particularly jogging or fast walking, works really well for this, because it forces you to breathe out. So that helps my lungs in pushing out the 'old air' that I've been over-breathing the whole day, and replenishes them with newer, fresher air.

Also, it makes your lungs healthier and gives them more strength and capacity, and helps you breathe better, and when you breathe better, you may gain a little more confidence when you really need it, like dealing with situations involving anxiety.
 

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over breathing

Hi

I also experience similar symptons to the above, which I believe are from over breathing. The trouble is how do you stop doing it?! I have suffered this for about 10 years now.

Mine started with numbness and pins and needles, but now I just seem to get slight dizziness, a tightness in my chest and the general feeling that I am not breathing properly. The problem though is that I know I am not breathing properly so I try to rectify my breathing, rather than just ignoring the problem and thus breathe normally again! I think mine started as a stress trigger, but now I get it when I'm not stressed also.

Running, cycling and swimming all help me as it makes me breathe normally.

It also helps to hear other peoples experiences
 
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