Do you tend to sigh frequently?
We tend to sigh more than we think, with up to 12 sighs per hour. But is sighing due to an emotional release, feeling irritated, or is the body undertaking an important function?
Going about our busy day our breath rate changes depending on what we are doing. This influences the little air sacs at the end of the branches called Alveoli. These alveoli can spontaneously collapse. Don't worry, it's perfectly normal. When we sigh, the increased air inflates the alveoli, which is why it feels so good.
Signing is a good thing, but what happens when the sighing becomes more frequent?
Stress and Anxiety
Stress can be partly behind the reason why someone sighs frequently. When we are stressed, the heart beats faster, the body warms and can sweat and the breath rate increases so we reach the fight/flight or sympathetic nervous system response.
Signing can be a way of bringing temporary relief to the reactions of stress. When signing happens more frequently, it can join together with the fast breathing and result in hyperventilation.
To reduce the symptoms of hyperventilation and anxiety or panic, cup the hands over the nose and mouth, breathe through your nose, in for 3 out for 3 at first, then start slowing your breathing down until you feel calm.
Sighing can also be linked to emotions. When someone is feeling down or depressed, motivation is affected. This can lead to the want to sign as a possible means of finding motivations and a relief from the heavy feeling.
Mindset can be a strong motivating factor in helping to alleviate frequent signing. When looking to change any negative mindset, it is important to first become aware of the negative thoughts. When the awareness is there, it is easier to stop and thin look at reframing the thoughts into positive thoughts.
Think about the task which needs to be undertaken and split them into small bite size pieces. This makes each step achievable so things don’t become overwhelming.
Increased sighing can also occur along with some respiratory conditions. Examples of such conditions include asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
If the above is occurring, then it is advised to visit your medical practitioner for an assessment.