Calm Anxiety and Shortness of Breath with Mindfulness

Living with a chronic lung condition can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to control your life. There are many techniques that can be incorporated into your daily routine that will help you manage your lung disease. A major symptom reported by individuals with a chronic lung disease is shortness of breath. It’s a scary feeling not being able to take a normal breath. Many individuals suffer from chronic anxiety due to the constant breathlessness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that helps calm anxiety and breathlessness in those who have a chronic lung condition. 

What is Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever you are doing at the moment. When we are mindful, we are free from distraction and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. Being focused on the moment allows for a more objective and less automatic interpretation of reality.

How to Become more Mindful

The most common route to a state of mindfulness is meditation. Grounding meditation is an easy, stress relieving activity that takes 2-3 minutes and it can be completed anywhere. The goal of grounding is to bring awareness to the present moment, and focus on the stimuli and environment around us.

Grounding meditation

Grounding Exercise

Ready to give the grounding exercise a try? First, pause what you are doing and take a deep breath in through the mouth and out through pursed lips. Now let’s begin:

  • First, name 5 things you can see…
  • Next, name 4 things that you can feel…
  • Name 3 things that you can hear… 
  • Name 2 things that you can smell… 
  • Lastly, name 1 thing that you can taste.


You now have a good awareness of what is surrounding you at this moment. Grounding is something that is super easy, quick and can be performed anywhere. Whenever you are feeling anxious, breathless or stressed, try practicing grounding.

Benefits of Grounding Meditation

Health Benefits

  • Improves mood and sleep quality 
  • Reduces pain and stress 
  • Helps wound healing and immunity 
  • Lowers inflammation

Emotional Benefits

  • Better working memory and attention
  • Less rumination, which is a deep thought about something 
  • Awareness of one’s thinking and the strategies one is using

Interpersonal Benefits

Related to relationships or communication between people

  • Increased relationship satisfaction
  • Better social intelligence, which is the capacity to know oneself and to know others
  • Fewer negative feelings
  • Improved responses to relationship stress

Personal Benefits

  • Improved self-insight, which is understanding your needs and goals
  • Better moral judgment 
  • Many health benefits, reduced anxiety, stress, depression, and shortness of breath
  • Greater well-being and attention to positive stimuli 

Try to incorporate mindfulness and grounding meditation into your daily routine. If you practice this enough, it can become second nature, similar to brushing your teeth. It’s simple, quick and has many benefits. 

Receive exercise training, breathing techniques, and educational tools tailored to your respiratory condition and fitness level on the iMaster Health Online Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program. Sign up today and enjoy a 7 DAY FREE TRIAL!

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