Controlled breathing, relaxation and distraction

Controlled Breathing

Many people find correct and controlled breathing very relaxing. It can be very helpful for people who feel light headed when they feel worried or stressed. Feeling dizzy when feeling anxious may happen because your breathing rate can speed up when feeling under stress.
Learning to control your breathing  can help you to manage these feelings more effectively.

Click on the audio link below for guided help on correct and  controlled breathing. Please note that Windows Media Player is needed to play this type of file

Correct and controlled breathing audio

Whilst correct controlled breathing can help with how you physically feel, when you feel anxious, it is widely recognised that it doesn’t always help in the long run. This is because the fear and/or threat isn’t addressed properly – only your symptoms.


It is important to make time to relax and do activities that are enjoyable.  Without taking the time to relax, it is easy to feel engulfed by stress.
Relaxation can involve doing something that you enjoy, either by yourself or with others.  Exercise is a particularly effective way in helping us to relax. What type of exercise doesn’t really matter the key is to choose something that you will enjoy.

Examples of things that might help you to relax

Read a book
Exercise – go for a walk, dance or a swim
Watch your favourite TV show
Go to the cinema
Listen to your favourite music
Do something creative (e.g. draw, paint)
Visit a friend or family member
Have a bath

Making sure that you relax every day, is worth making time for. However it is a skill like any other which needs to be learned, and takes time. The following exercise teaches deep muscle relaxation, and many people find it very helpful in reducing overall levels of tension and anxiety


When we feel anxious, it sometimes feels impossible to stop the unhelpful thoughts
going round our heads and making us feel even worse. We tend to focus our
attention on thoughts connected to our anxiety and physical sensations. We can use
techniques to distract ourselves from the worrying thoughts and help break this cycle.


Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

© 2015 Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust. All rights reserved.
Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the copyright owner.