When you have lung cancer, you can expect to have difficulty breathing. It can be stressful when you can’t breathe and stress can make it even more difficult, which causes a spiraling effect. Here are 4 breathing techniques that can help you get through your day a little easier.
Controlling your breathing may sound easier than actually doing it. Here are 4 easy steps to follow:
Step 1: If possible, sit upright. This can help increase space in your lungs to deliver more oxygen.
Step 2: Breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. When you breathe in, make sure your mouth is closed. While you breathe out, purse your lips like you are about to whistle. Try to breathe out twice as much as you breathe in. This will help all the old air out and make more room for new oxygen-rich air in.
Step 3: Breathe with your lower chest muscle, also known as your diaphragm.
Step 4: Relax the muscle in your neck, shoulders and upper chest when you breathe.
Try this technique the next time you find it hard to breathe.
Calm breathing is another technique that can not only help you breathe but can help you relax your mind. When you feel stress or anxious, your breathing tends to be shallow and short. Here are 4 steps that can help slow down your breathing and relieve your stress:
Step 1: Take in a deep breath from your diaphragm, which is the muscle between your lungs and abdomen.
Step 2: Hold your breath for several seconds or for as long as you can, then exhale slowly.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 a few more times until you feel calm.
Step 4: Then relax your whole body.
This technique can save you when you can’t breathe and when you feel stressed. It can also prevent you from hyperventilating, which can happen when your breaths become fast and short.
Meditation is known to relax your mind but did you know that it could also help you breathe? There are two types of meditation: one-pointed and two-pointed meditation.
In a safe and quiet place, take 15 to 20 minutes to focus on your breathing. As you breathe, try to repeat one word or sound to yourself. Some words that are commonly used are “peace,” “love” or “hope.” The goal is to relax your mind and focus on your breathing. You will see your breathing improve and your mind relaxed.
Two-pointed meditation, also known as mindful or insight meditation, is a technique to focus on your breathing while observing the pattern of your thoughts. You can do this while sitting quietly or doing daily activities. When you are having trouble breathing and stressed, your mind starts to wonder and jump from one worry to another. Two-pointed meditation helps you guide your thoughts by separating yourself from your emotions.
Using your imagination is another technique that can help you breathe. It is a combination of deep breathing and meditation. You can use relaxing music such as the sound of the ocean or birds chirping. Close your eyes while focusing on your deep breaths. Imagine you are at the beach or in the park alone with the birds. This technique can mentally take you to a place where you feel safe and calm. This will help you breathe easier and relax your mind.
When you have difficulty breathing you will most likely feel stress and anxiety. These techniques will not only help you breathe easily but also help manage your emotions. Try any of these techniques the next time you struggle to breathe.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: September 11, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Controlled Breathing – Pursed Lips Breathing. http://patient.info/health/controlled-breathing-pursed-lips-breathing. Accessed September 11, 2016.
Relaxation Techniques and Mind Body Practices - How They can Help You Cope with Cancer. http://www.lungcancer.org/find information/publications/54-relaxation techniques and mind body practices how they can help you cope with cancer. Accessed September 11, 2016.