We do it all day: breathing. When you sit on a chair, 8-12 times a minute breathing is enough. A good way of breathing helps you become or remain mentally and physically balanced. But stress or tension can disrupt this balance. If you are tense and stressed, you switch to chest breathing. This is not necessarily wrong, but less effective. Chest breathing is a nervous, shallow way of breathing. This, in turn, causes you to use an unnecessary amount of energy that can cause complaints in the long term.

These complaints will be subtle in the beginning. For example not waking up fully rested in the morning or having an increasing amount of headaches. If you stick to this tempo, your body will only use more energy. Eventually, your body will stop its subtle hints and protest harder and harder with more intense complaints.



Psychiatrist, Bram Bakker

Most people breathe too quickly due to stress, while there is no physical reason to do so. For example, if people sit behind a computer, 9 out of 10 breathe too fast. Breathe 16 times per minute is no exception. But that is also the breathing of someone who cycles against the wind 18 kilometers per hour.


Millions of people breathe too fast on moments it is not necessary. You are not the only one.

Would you like to know if you have a good way of breathing?

Which symptoms can you get?

General symptoms such as tension, anxiety, panic, fatigue, sleeping problems, irritability. You can get these complaints by breathing too much while it is not necessary and because of worrying about it.

Psychological complaints such as anxiety, agony, worrying strongly, phobias, depression, feeling unreal. These complaints can appear because your feelings, thoughts and behaviour respond to your physical complaints.

Respiratory complaints such as shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, sighing often, rapid and/or deep breathing, dry mouth, yawning or sighing often. You can get these complaints by breathing fast and deep through your chest. This way your airways, chest and heart muscles are overloaded.

Complaints of the heart and vascular system, such as palpitations, chest pain, pounding heart, skipping heartbeat. These complaints are caused by a faster and deeper way of breathing. Your heart needs to pump faster because of this.

Muscle complaints, such as stiffness, shaking and cramping of the hands, tingling in the hands or around the mouth. You can get these complaints because you get fewer calcium particles. And sometimes by having a cramped posture.

Complaints of the central nervous system, such as dizziness, feeling faint, dry mouth, sweating, becoming cold or warm, headaches. You can get these symptoms because your blood vessels (especially in your brain, hands, feet, mouth and tongue) contract. This makes your blood flow less optimal.

Gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation. You can get these complaints by swallowing inhaled air without you noticing. These complaints often come in waves.

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