Skip to content

Hyperventilation

Font Size

Prevention

You may be able to avoid hyperventilation:

  • Breathe through your nose. It is harder to hyperventilate when your mouth is closed, because you can't move as much air through your nose.
  • Loosen your clothing. Tight belts and waistbands, girdles, bras, and skintight jeans can all restrict breathing and cause shallow, upper-chest breathing.
  • Learn belly-breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) techniques, and practice them when you are not hyperventilating so that you can use the techniques when you need them. People who hyperventilate usually take shallow breaths, filling only their upper chest when they inhale.
  • Try different relaxation techniques and see what works best for you. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.
  • Talk to friends, family members, or a counselor to help you relieve anxiety. Keep a journal to help you focus on your problems and find workable solutions.
  • Eat a healthy mix of foods. Watch out for caffeine: drink less coffee, tea, and soda, and do not eat as much chocolate. For more information, see the topic Healthy Eating.
  • Exercise. Regular aerobic exercise forces you to take full breaths and helps you to reduce anxiety that contributes to hyperventilation. For more information, see the topic Fitness.
  • Make sure you get a good night's sleep. Being rested may help reduce daytime anxiety. For more information, see the topic Sleep Problems, Age 12 and Older.
  • Practice healthy thinking and stop negative thoughts.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
psoriasis
Does your kid have symptoms?
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Close up of eye
12 reasons you're distracted.
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.