To feel like you can’t breath or that you’re choking can feel very terrifying for the person going through it. However, don’t get worked up. This is often times a symptom of anxiety, which can be cured if you learn to know your body better and to focus on things in a new way.
Causes that lead to a feeling of suffocation:
- Accumulated stress or tension
- Deep sadness
- Unrecognized feelings of fear
- Imminent or far-off fear of death
What should I do to prevent feeling like I’m suffocating?
- Diet: The first thing you need to do is keep your body as cleansed as possible so that your nervous system is as healthy as possible. For this, it is important to avoid refined, or “white” sugars and bread, as well as cow’s milk and its derivatives and saturated fats. Try to eat fresh or steamed vegetables daily, in a salad or juices, and also use certain complements like Chia seeds, which help the nervous system.
- Breathing: it is very important to learn to control your breathing. For this, you need to learn to breathe from your diaphragm, which means, gently inhale while inflating your abdomen. Then exhale slowly, deflating your abdomen (as if it were a balloon that fills with your incoming air and deflates as you exhale). Practice this when you are not having an attack, at night and in the morning. Do it as slowly as you can. While doing this, place your hand on your abdomen and concentrate on feeling the weight of your hand.
- Meditation: while practicing the aforementioned breathing , and whenever you don’t feel like you’re suffocating, talk to yourself. Ask your self what your fears are, what worries your and listen to yourself. Listen to what makes you angry, what hurts you (it could be past experiences that might be causing you harm, etc.). If you find some sort of fear, try to confront it and read about how you can work with the fear. Fear is just a reaction to care for your life and what you love, like your integrity. If you feel like you have a lot of fear, or a lot of fear towards something, you might need to cultivate your spirituality more (believe in yourself, know yourself better).
- Whenever you feel like you’re suffocating, practice the abdominal breathing as best as you can. Avoid getting worked up or falling apart. Talk to yourself while you breath and concentrate on your hand on your abdomen. Tell yourself that you’re at peace with yourself and your life, and concentrate on your breathing.
- Read about topics that help you understand life with more confidence. I recommend the book “You can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay.
- Exercise daily to free stress. I recommend yoga, taichi, chi-kung, etc. Swimming is also a very good way to release stress.
- A bioenergetics or bioneuroemotion session could be a great help for you.