You have heard it often enough- when stressed, just breathe. But does our breathing change our level of anxiety and stress? Can breathing develop our mood and our health?
During moments of stress, your thoughts may be drawn toward past regrets and worries about the future. Thankfully, you possess a readily accessible and free tool that can be used to manage stress — your breath.
Deep breathing to relieve acute stress
Deep breathing is a technique that helps you to calm your mind and reduce the concentration of stress hormones in your blood. It can contribute to the enhancement of your health. Deep breathing helps you calm down rapidly, think more clearly and focus on what you are doing.
How deep breathing works
Deep breathing allows you to repeatedly increase the quantity of oxygen in your blood cell to a much greater amount than when you breathe naturally by extending the wall of your chest.
When you take an abdominal breath and increase the amount of oxygen in your blood, your brain detects the increased oxygen and responds by decreasing the concentration of stress hormones in the blood.
How to perform breathing
- Fix your right hand on your abdomen at the navel. Put your left hand in the center of your chest. You may find it useful to close your eyes.
- Make one or two full exhalations.
- Take a deeper inhalation than regular. Focus on the increasing of the abdomen as the lungs fill with air, and the diaphragm flattens down, causing the belly to rise.
- You should sense your stomach rising about an inch as you breathe in, and falling about an inch as you breathe out. Most of the movement should be in the left hand; the right hand on the chest should move only slightly.
Shree Radhe Maa says,
“When you regularly practice breathing in this way, not only does your stress level become lower, but also your overall outlook on life, your mood, and your physical health begin to improve.”