TIP Skill #3: Paced breathing

Feeling overwhelmed? Here is part three of a four-part series on a set of skills that change your physiological response to anxiety/intense emotions and can help decrease emotional intensity. This set of skills are called the TIPP Skills*.

P: Paced breathing

  1. Slow your breathing down to about 6 breaths per minute
  2. Breathe into your belly (diaphragmatic breathing), not your chest
  3. Be sure your exhale is LONGER than your inhale (breathe out more air than you are breathing in)
  4. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth

Example: 4-4-8 breathing: breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 8.

The goal of this skill is to decrease intensity of anxiety/distress, not to get rid of emotions or solve your problems. For more in-depth information, check out our blog post on dealing with widespread panic.


*The TIPP skills come from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), created by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP