How do I stop thinking of my breathing? I already know I suffer from anxiety, but I have been able to handle the symptoms for 45 years. I have OCD where I am conscious of my swallowing and can't swallow if I see someone fat or anything negative otherwise I think I will look like that. Stupid, I know! But I have been able to live with it, and it hasn't been debilitating at all. Unfortunately, Sunday night, I became fixated on my breathing and now I can't stop being consciously aware of it! I'm not trying to control it nor am I afraid I'm going to die or have a heart attack. I am just aware of every breath I take AND the thing that really sucks is I can't sleep because of it. I could honestly live with having this during the day as long as I got a normal night's sleep. I just want to sleep like normal and stop thinking of my dumb breathing! I had this about 2 years ago, and I called my insurance's mental health hotline. That day was the happiest of my life because the nurse who spoke with me said taking deep breaths is actually good for you and that people who practice yoga do it all the time. At that instant, I was cured! Breathing didn't come into my mind. It's like she reassured me that breathing was good and it would happen on its own. All I need is reassurance, I think. It's the fearing I'm going to have this forever and never being able to sleep that's the worst part. I definitely do not want to go on medication because meds mess you up. If anything, I would take lithium to balance out the chemicals in my brain. I just want to be able to handle this holistically and naturally. Any suggestions? I really appreciate your help.
Last edited by song007; 04-01-2009 at 12:31 PM.
Reason: wanted to elaborate
The Following User Says Thank You to song007 For This Useful Post: whozjenny (09-08-2011)
I know how you are feeling. I have had the same thing many times. This too will pass. What you need to realize is that your body is made to breathe whether or not we think about it. So you can rest assured that when you fall asleep your breathing will be fine. The more you think about it the worst it becomes(I know your thinking I can't help,nor do I want to think about it) Try to find other things to do while you fall asleep. I used to add and subtract numbers in my head. Try to tell yourself that this will pass just like last time.
Last edited by CANEY GIRL; 04-01-2009 at 06:32 PM.
Well, I guess I can answer my own question. I remember what a nurse told me a couple of years ago. She said concentrating on one's breathing is good because people use deep breathing to control their anxiety. After she said that, I laid down to sleep and concentrated on my breathing, but in a way to control my anxiety. Even though I was already concentrating on it, I was now in control of WHY I was concentrating on it. It switched my thought-process and put me in the driver's seat, not my obsession! I just realized all this last night as I went to sleep. I thought, hey, wait a minute, my breathing obession went away so easily after she had said that. Why wouldn't it work now? So, with every breath, I thought as I breathed, "Breathing in God's breath of life in, breathing out negativity, out." And suddenly I just drifted off to sleep, not worrying about, OMG, I'm concentrating on my breathing. I was no longer anxious about it. Don't be anxious about it. that just makes it worse. Breathe in God's breath of life and breathe out all of life's negativity and you, too, will get some sound sleep. Soon the whole breathing obsession will leave because you're no longer giving it credence and power. You have the power because God gave us the breath of life!