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  • Ashish

Feeling Suffocated | The Column

Suffocation: The feeling of one’s throat closing up and feeling short of breath. With each sense and movement slowly shutting down in a matter of seconds.



Feeling suffocated is definitely not a welcome feeling nor a nice one. I've always pictured it as being in a stuffy room and not being able to get out. Further being pushed and pushed to each corner of the room, looking for an escape. Leading to exhaustion, loss of motivation and more.

It is 7am and I have just woken up from a loss of sleep and the sun shining bright into my room. Whilst the sun beaming into my room would normally lift my mood, this time the morning feels long and uncertain.

Enter suffocation; suffocation in the form of questions – what are you going to do next? – suffocation of those around me and the pressure I feel from them.

On the plus side, I have dealt with various forms of suffocation especially in stressful situations more effectively before. However with each hurdle and resolution comes another form of suffocation. It is here that suffocation for me amounts to pressure, weight and endless questions.

I have found that by me accepting my struggle with feeling suffocated and how it affects my own lifestyle that I have been able to work on a strategy to come through each situation better than before.



Although it is still early days, I am finding that by taking baby steps with each situation and predicting each ‘suffocating’ moment in due course that I am able to retain focus and strength in overcoming all those suffocating moments that I may face whether that may be past events or even future ones.

The feeling of suffocation can hit you like a flash of light. It can welcome you in with a feeling of ‘stuffiness’ and ‘enclosed’ space. Imagine being hugged by more than one person all at once, and not being able to step away. Or a pile of stones leaving you buried.

However even just by noticing the feeling first hand, as you would with a sore back you are immediately remedying the problem in the best way possible. Just think how you would prepare yourself for any milestone, similarly preparing yourself to feel less suffocated works the same.

With slow exercises, taking a few steps back or even admitting that you feel pressure building up, you are immediately alerting your own body that “everything will be okay, to have faith, as you are much stronger than you know”.



  • Feeling suffocated can be prevented or even remedied in due course through breathing therapy, relaxation techniques and talking therapy (such as CBT).

  • The struggles I am facing now will eventually disappear with time and patience, if resolved and dealt with in the present rather than the future.

  • Just like you would “take a break” eating a Kit-Kat, why not “take a break” mentally, physically and positively with a little bit of down time for yourself. Go outside or go for a walk. Switch things up with your own surroundings, as you absorb the goodness of nature with a brisk short walk or even a short run.

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