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Anxiety Fix That Really Works (Temporarily)

590329_58780489Feeling anxious? Shaky? Jittery? Worried? Nervous? Tense?

You aren’t breathing, right?

If you’re not sure, check.

People with symptoms of anxiety take shallow breaths.

People having a panic attack may even stop breathing for (way) longer than normal.

Band-aid: Breathe. Place one hand on your belly, the other on your chest and breathe deeply.

The key to calming breath is the exhalation—it should be longer than the inhalation. Here’s one breath you can try:

Breathe in for the count of 6.

Hold for the count of 4.

Breathe out for the count of 8.

Pause, and begin again.

This is a temporary fix, but it REALLY works. If you aren’t used to breathing consciously, you’ll be amazed to discover the difference between anxious breathing and calm breathing.


Anxiety Fix That Really Works (Temporarily)

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2013). Anxiety Fix That Really Works (Temporarily). Psych Central. Retrieved on September 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Dec 2013
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