Shallow and rapid breathing is a part of our response to stress, which can, in turn, prolong anxiety, and stress. When we are stressed, our body functions in the ‘fight-flight-freeze’ mode thereby making us take short sharp breaths to help prepare us for the upcoming ‘fight’. In other words, we start hyperventilating.
When you are hyperventilating, the body starts drawing more air into the lungs than the required level. This leads to more oxygen into the bloodstream than the body can cope with.
As a result of breathing out very fast, more than the usual amount of carbon dioxide is washed out of the bloodstream making the blood more alkaline. This causes a pH imbalance.
More oxygen and less carbon dioxide produce anxiety and other physical and mental symptoms, creating a vicious cycle in which our stress levels remain elevated.