When things make you feel anxious or stressed, taking a (deep) belly-breather can help.
While belly breathing alone can’t fix deep-seated anxieties, it’s an effective and natural way to ease anxiety and garden-variety stress.
Make Your Breaths Count!
Belly breathing can also help turn your automatic fight-or-flight response into a beneficial relaxation response. You take up to 23,000 breaths per day, so make sure you do it 'right'.
Every time you feel stressed, simply take three slow and controlled deep belly breaths, placing one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest to help focus the breathing correctly into the diaphragm.
Why 'Belly Breathe'?
This interrupts the fight-or-flight response so your body can begin to relax and handle daily stressors. One way to change our reaction to modern stress is to focus on belly breathing instead of chest breathing.
Most people are chest breathers, which is how we react to stress. When we sense a threat - such as the stress of work, finances, moving, or personal confrontations - our fight-or-flight response tells us to breathe at a rapid pace to suck in extra oxygen.
The 'Technical' Details
This rapid breathing is meant to be a short-term reaction, but in today’s world we are often surrounded by stressors. This leaves us in a state of tension, and we may not even notice it.
Deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which runs from the head down the neck, through the chest, and to the colon, activating your relaxation response. This in turn reduces your heart rate and blood pressure, and lowers stress levels.
Relaxing Daily Break
Many of us end up only shallow-breathing most of the day rather than taking advantage of the benefits that a deep slow breath can offer. As you fill up on a belly-breath, then take in even more air via the chest at the end for a nice full breath.
As you implement this into your life, several times daily, you will likely find that you are less sensitive to stress triggers over time and have developed a healthy habit for facing stressful events.
Best of All, It's Free!
Oxygen is our most important 'nutrient' - even above food and water - and, best of all, it's free!
See below for a few ways to best implement lots of life-giving oxygen into your life:
DISCLAIMER: Statements made on this site are for informational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.