Breathlessness is a very frightening symptom - and living with a breathless person can be very stressful.
Having some control over how you breathe, over your thinking and some practical ways to manage everyday activities can really help.
Anxiety and breathlessness are very linked - breathlessness make you anxious - and when you are anxious you breathe more quickly and less efficiently.
- Control your breath - watch the Managing breathlessness video from St Christopher's
- Think about your position - to get maximum air into your lungs
- A flow of air by your nose from a hand-held fan or open window can really help
- A cool wet flannel over your nose may help
- What helps you to calm - music, TV, relaxation - try some of the guided meditations below
- Eat small regular meals that are soft and don't need too much chewing
- Practical tip - a towelling dressing gown instead of drying with a towel can save energy after a shower
Think of 4 F's ! Fan, Flop muscles, Forward lean, Focus on long breath out
There are many excellent resources that can help you:
- Simple booklet to help you to live with breathlessness
- A more detailed booklet Bringing Breathlessness Into View
St Christopher's have also produced 4 very short videos (each less than 4 minutes)
To help you calm
St Margaret's Hospice have produced some brief videos to support guided relaxation and meditation
Meet and share with other people how to live better with breathlessness, you could try a Breathe Easy group if there is one near you