We all know that slow, deep, regular and rhythmic breathing pattern helps to reduce our stress and anxiety.
Have you ever thought about why it works?
I haven’t either until yesterday and then I read an article in Psychology Today.
Here’s how it works.
We(Adults) breathe at an average of 12-15 breaths per minute, but when you intentionally slow that down, you allow more time for your body to self-regulate.
Let’s talk about that in detail.
Peripheral Nervous System(PNS): A part of our nervous systyem which consists of…
- Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS)
- Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS)
SNS – accelerates the process such as heart rate and digestion etc..
PSNS – slows them down
When you inhale – SNS is suppressed
When you exhale – PSNS is enhanced
When you slow your respiratory rate to below 15 breaths per minute, you increase the amount of PSNS function which is slowing down the body processes.
When you feel anxious or stressed there is no better and faster remedy for your body than the action of PSNS.
Here’s how to do proper slow deep breathing.
- Find somewhere comfortable to sit.
- Sit in an erect posture and bring your chest forward, allowing your shoulders to fall back.
- Relax you body and rest your hands on your lap.
- Breathe with your abdomen, allowing your belly to expand on inhalation and contract on expiration.
- Inhale through your nose for a count of four.
- Then exhale through your nose for a count of six.
- Repeat this process as many times you want.
When you slow your breathing rate, you increase the action of PSNS(Parasympathetic Nervous System) which is slowing down the body processes.
Thus making you feel calm and better.
So the next time you feel anxious or stressed or burned out, simply smile, take a couple of deep breaths.
P.S. If you’d like to know How to Breathe Effectively, Click HERE.
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