How to stop thinking about your breathing

How to stop thinking about your breathing

Breathing is an essential function of life, but it’s also something that we often take for granted. Most of the time, our breathing is automatic, and we don’t have to think about it. However, there are times when we may start to focus on our breathing or become aware of it in an intrusive and unwanted way. This can happen when we are feeling anxious or stressed or when we are trying to fall asleep.

If you find yourself thinking about your breathing more than you would like, there are some things you can do to stop thinking about it and relax. Below are some tips on stopping thinking about your breathing and returning to a state of restfulness.

The Science of Breathing

Breathing is an involuntary process that happens without us thinking about it. Every time we inhale, our lungs take in oxygen, and when we exhale, they release carbon dioxide. This process happens automatically and is vital for our survival. We can, however, control our breathing.

The Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls all of the involuntary processes in your body, such as heart rate, digestion, and respiration. It comprises two parts: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which speeds up your heart rate and gets you ready for action, and the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), which slows things down again when the danger has passed.

Breathing is one of the many functions controlled by the ANS. The SNS kicks in when you need to take a deep breath, such as during exercise, and the PSNS takes over when you can breathe normally again.

Most of the time, you don’t need to think about your breathing because it happens automatically. But sometimes, anxiety or stress can cause you to start thinking about your breathing, making it hard to breathe normally. This can create a feedback loop that makes anxiety worse.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop thinking about your breathing and get your ANS back on track.

The Respiratory System

The respiratory system is a network of organs and tissues that helps you breathe. When you inhale (breathe in), air enters your lungs through your nose or mouth. The air then travels down your windpipe, or trachea, and into your lungs, where it reaches the alveoli. The alveoli are tiny air sacs where oxygen from the air mixes with oxygen-rich blood from your heart. This process is called gas exchange.

Your lungs have many small air sacs called alveoli (al-VEE-ole). These tiny sacs have very thin walls that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass easily in and out of your bloodstream. Fresh oxygen enters your lungs and travels to the alveoli when you breathe in. At the same time, carbon dioxide leaves your bloodstream and goes back into the lungs to be exhaled (breath out).

The Mind-Body Connection

You may not realize it, but you always think about your breathing. Every time you take a breath, your brain signals your muscles to contract and expand. This process is so important to your survival that your brain does it automatically without you even having to think about it.

The Relaxation Response

The relaxation response is a physical state of deep rest that leads to a reduction in stress. It was first described by Dr. Herbert Benson in the 1970s and has been backed by scientific research ever since.

Benson found that the relaxation response could be elicited by various activities, including yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. When the relaxation response is activated, the body’s blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate all slow down. This physical state is the opposite of the “fight or flight” response, which is characterized by increased heart rate and blood pressure.

The relaxation response has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved sleep, and improved overall well-being. It can also help to reduce pain and improve symptoms of conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure.

If you’re interested in eliciting the relaxation response, you can try many different methods. One simplest is deep breathing: sit or lie comfortably and focus on your breathing. Slowly inhale through your nose for a count of five, then exhale for a count of five. Continue this pattern for several minutes or until you feel your body begin to relax.

Practical Applications

In everyday life, there are many opportunities to focus on your breath. You can do this while waiting in line, during a commute, or while working at your desk. Focusing on your breath can help you to be more present and mindful of your surroundings. It can also help to reduce anxiety and stress.

Breath Awareness

Most of us go about our lives without paying much attention to our breath. We take it for granted that it will just happen automatically. However, the quality of our breath greatly impacts our health and well-being.

Breath awareness is simply the practice of paying attention to your breath. It can be helpful to do this at different times during the day, such as when you wake up in the morning, during your lunch break, or before you go to bed at night.

There are many benefits to practicing breath awareness, including the following:

-Reduced stress and anxiety

-Improved sleep quality

  • increased energy levels
  • improved concentration and focus
  • reduced symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety disorders
  • reduced blood pressure
  • Breath Counting

Breath counting is a mindfulness practice that can help bring your attention back to the present moment. The basic idea is to count each breath as you inhale and exhale. You can count up to a certain number (e.g., 10) and then start over again, or you can count each breath without setting a specific goal.

This practice can be helpful when you find yourself getting lost in thoughts or feeling overwhelmed by emotions. By focusing on your breath, you can anchor yourself in the present moment and let go of what’s happening in your head. Breath counting is also a great way to calm down if you feel anxious or stressed.

To get started, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. If you’d like, you can close your eyes, but it’s unnecessary. Then, begin counting each breath as you inhale and exhale. If your mind starts to wander, that’s okay – gently bring your attention back to your breath and start counting again.

Breath Holding

Breath holding is a practical application of the Buteyko Method that can achieve fast results quickly. This technique treats anxiety, panic attacks, sleep apnea, and snoring.

Breath-holding is a simple but powerful technique that can be done anywhere and anytime. All you need to do is hold your breath for as long as possible. This may seem like a difficult task at first, but with practice, you will be able to hold your breath for longer and longer periods.

The benefits of breath-holding are many. This technique lets you get in touch with your body and mind and focus on the present moment. It also helps to improve your respiratory system and increases your overall sense of well-being.


In conclusion, it is important to remember that you cannot stop thinking about your breathing altogether. However, by paying attention to your breath and focusing on other things, you can train your mind to think about your breathing less often. Over time, this can help you to feel more relaxed and at ease.