Thursday, February 2, 2023

How To Breathe To Reduce Stress

How To Breathe For Stress Relief

3 Deep Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress & Anxiety

A healthy human has two options for breathing: the mouth or the nose.

While they are both effective ways of gaining vital oxygen into the body, they are not equal.

Though natural, breathing is surprisingly easy to get wrong we often inhale through our mouth when we should use our nose.

Nasal breathing kills bacteria and viruses and relaxes the blood vessels in the respiratory tract, allowing more oxygen to pass into the blood .

Not only that, but the nose allows us to draw more oxygen from our environment than mouth breathing , improves sleep, reduces tooth decay, and encourages learning .

Slowing the breathing down to about six breaths per minute through the nose reduces the heart rate, widens blood vessels, lowers stress, and promotes calm. Lengthening the out-breath with long, slow exhalations lulls us into an altered state of consciousness that can look much like slow-wave sleep on a brain scan .

When we are experiencing acute stress, the sympathetic system takes control and the vagus nerve is inhibited. High and sustained vagal withdrawal has been associated with high self-reported levels of stress, anxiety, and depression .

Getting our breathing right can help us reach a high vagal tone when at rest associated with good physical and mental health, including a reduction in stress.

Amy Cuddy suggests trying the following:

The Trap Of Other Methods

And then you have all the other breathing methods like sophrology, heart coherence, deep breathing, etc., that are just pale copies of Pranayama Yoga exercises. We took the Yoga exercises and pasted on another label.

It would have been perfect if these methods further explained the physiology of respiration, the importance of CO2 accumulation, the CO2 tolerance threshold, the functioning of the metabolism, the Bohr effect, etc … but by following these methods, you only follow blindly the precise rhythms imposed by the exercises.

X seconds here, Y seconds there, W seconds of full retention here, and Z seconds of empty hold there.

Meanwhile, practitioners blindly follow the rhythms without understanding what they are generating in their bodies because they do not understand the physiology of the CO2 / O2 pairing!

These people often end up giving up their practices because, apart from the slight temporary relief and the illusory well-being of the moment, they do not find there the power of deep regeneration that they expected.

Unfortunately, all these practices even tend to damage the metabolism of their practitioners.

Why? Because by following general rhythms given to everyone, you often breathe too much and this leads you to practice a form of hyperventilation, which decreases your concentration in CO2, which in turn decreases your oxygenation, and in the end your energy!

Lao Tzu, a great sage of the time said: “The perfect man breathes as if he does not breathe.

Breathing More Increases Your Stress And Anxiety Levels And Quickly Destroys Your Health

There are two steps to successful oxygenation.

The first step is the oxygenation of the lungs and blood.

We all successfully complete this first step because we all have maximum oxygen saturation in the blood. If in doubt, you can measure it now with an oximeter.

Whether it’s a sick person close to death or an overpowered yogi hidden in a cave in the Himalayas, our oxygen saturation in the blood is always maximal !

The second step is oxygenation of our cells.

They are the ones who need it to produce energy. And we have seen that the key to oxygenating your cells is the CO2 produced inside your cells.

This concentration of CO2 is what differentiates us all, not only our level of energy but also our level of stress.

Just as for your energy level, your stress level is dependent on a single physiological variable: your CO2 tolerance threshold and your associated breathing rate .

As you now know, your stress response is managed unconsciously by your reptilian brain.

Everything is unconscious, which means you do not have to think about it.

It’s your animal brain that takes control during stress, and it inevitably accelerates your breathing and your heart rate, even if you are not aware of it.

The goal of your reptilian brain: fight or flight.

For the human animal, staying alive in the face of imminent danger is only possible by fleeing or fighting!

Thus, your heart rate and breathing are in a state of constant stress.

Everything is happening in your blood.

Thus, .

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The Right Way To Breathe Deeply

While inhaling and exhaling sounds pretty self-explanatory, most of us dont naturally take deep belly breaths. Instead, we tend to take shallow breaths that dont allow our lungs to fully fill with air, or our bellies to rise and fall.

When youre ready to practice deep breathing techniques, sit in a quiet and comfortable seat. Take a slow deep breath in through your nose. Let your rib cage expand and belly rise as your lungs fill with air. Exhale slowly, and feel your belly and chest fall. You can place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest to feel the accordionlike movement of your torso. Keep taking full, deep breaths until you start to feel a sense of calm.

Another simple technique is inhaling through your nose while you count to three and exhaling through your mouth while you count to three. Repeat this for several rounds. If youre having trouble, dont get frustrated. It can take a little practice for your body to relearn and master this breathing technique.

So, when youre facing an anxiety-inducing situation, remember: breathe in, breathe out. Whether you practice deep breathing for a few minutes or more, your body will naturally start to calm down and relax.

Development Of Psychic Power

Physio Guided Slow Breathing Exercises (Pranayama) to ...

All scientists agree that humans use barely 10% of the capacity of their brain.

We use the tip of the iceberg, which corresponds to the conscious brain .

But there is also the submerged part of the iceberg, the remaining 90%, of which we are not aware.

This corresponds to invisible psychic faculties that allow us to perceive that which is out of the ordinary.

These powers reside in our limbic brain but especially our reptilian brain.

That part of the brain possesses incredible power that we cannot access because it is unconscious.

In truth, we all have already experienced all these psychic powers. Here are some examples:

– you think of someone and soon after you run into this person or this person calls you

– You are invited to an activity, but you feel that it will go wrong or that it is a waste of time.

In spite of your intuition, you still embark on it and realize some time later that you were right, and this activity was not beneficial

– you feel the presence of someone behind you or looking at you. As you turn around, you realize that there are indeed people watching you

– you meet someone and you instantly perceive their intentions as well as their thoughts

– you imagine and emotionally feel a desired future, and some time later, you realize that you are living the image you had imagined

We all have incredibly powerful psychic powers, but they are asleep and rusty because of their non-use.

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How To Perform Deep Breathing

  • Put your right hand on your abdomen at the navel. Put your left hand on the center of your chest. You may find it helpful to close your eyes.
  • Make one or two full exhalations.
  • Take a deeper inhalation than usual. Focus on the rising of the abdomen as the lungs fill with air and the diaphragm flattens down, causing the belly to rise.
  • You should feel 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 lower hand the right hand on the chest should move only slightly.
  • What Is The Proper Way To Breathe During Exercise

    George Dallam: Both anxiety and physical exertion increase our production of CO2, so opening your mouth to breathe helps to feel more comfortable in these conditions.

    Unfortunately, the more we do so, the more sensitive to CO2 increases we become through a process of down regulation of our receptors for CO2. This is similar to the tolerance effect of alcohol or caffeine for instance.

    Dean Somerset: Much of how to breathe during exercise depends on load or intensity. For higher intensity weight training, breathing will be fairly strained and may actually benefit from a big inhale, squeezing the breath, and then completing the work while holding the breath before releasing after the hardest portion of the rep.

    For lower intensity exercise, breathing out through the exertion can be a common method. For cardio, like running, pulsed inhales and exhales timed with foot contacts are usually used as more of a timing and rhythm technique.

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    How To Add Breathing Exercises To Your Day

    Breathing exercises dont have to take a lot of time out of your day. Its really just about setting aside some time to pay attention to your breathing. Here are a few ideas to get started:

    • Begin with just 5 minutes a day, and increase your time as the exercise becomes easier and more comfortable.
    • If 5 minutes feels too long, start with just 2 minutes.
    • Practice multiple times a day. Schedule set times or practice conscious breathing as you feel the need.

    Mindful Slow And Deep Breathing

    How to reduce stress with the 2:1 breathing technique

    Once comfortable with mindful breathing, it can be helpful to introduce mindful change .

    The following steps help you move toward a calming and stress-reducing breath that avoids overbreathing :

  • Ideally, perform this exercise lying down to allow the diaphragm to move more comfortably.
  • Begin by taking a few normal, regular-sized breaths.
  • When ready, take a deeper in-breath, then exhale fully and slowly until the lungs are comfortably emptied. Breathing out through pursed lips can help you achieve the ideal ratio of 60% of your breath for exhalation .
  • Use your abdomen to breathe in and out rather than your chest. Imagine it as a balloon filling and emptying.
  • Repeat steps three and four for about five minutes, focusing on the sensation of the breath coming in and out of the body.
  • If you find it difficult to relax, let go of relaxation as an intention and focus only on the process of breathing.
  • Begin by practicing this technique for 5 minutes a day, working up to 10 minutes over the following weeks.

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    Breathing Exercises For Stress

    This calming breathing technique for stress, anxiety and panic takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere.

    You will get the most benefit if you do it regularly, as part of your daily routine.

    You can do it standing up, sitting in a chair that supports your back, or lying on a bed or yoga mat on the floor.

    Make yourself as comfortable as you can. If you can, loosen any clothes that restrict your breathing.

    If you’re lying down, place your arms a little bit away from your sides, with the palms up. Let your legs be straight, or bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.

    If you’re sitting, place your arms on the chair arms.

    If you’re sitting or standing, place both feet flat on the ground. Whatever position you’re in, place your feet roughly hip-width apart.

    • Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
    • Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
    • Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5. You may not be able to reach 5 at first.
    • Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again, if you find this helpful.
    • Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.

    How To Practice Deep Breathing

    Deep breathing instead involves taking slower, longer breaths from your stomach to counter the short, rapid breaths that you default to when stressed or anxious.

    Rhoads likes to teach deep breathing by first having someone activate their sympathetic nervous system. You can do this by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes and imagining an extremely stressful situation. Notice how your body responds: Your chest might tighten, your breathing might grow shallower and your heart might beat faster.

    Next, turn your attention to your breath. Focus on breathing from your stomach, pushing your stomach out each time you inhale. Take longer breaths, counting to at least three for each inhalation and exhalation. Keep doing this even though it may feel uncomfortable at first. After a while, you will start to notice your body feeling more relaxed.

    Noticing the differences for yourself in how your body feels is more powerful than anyone describing it to you, Rhoads says.

    Deep breathing may be simple, but it isnt necessarily easy. It can quiet your nervous system in a short amount of time, though it probably wont provide instant relief from all anxiety. The more you practice, the better youll get at it and the more youll be able to use it in times of stress to help calm yourself down.

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    How Does Stress Affect Breathing

    Stress and breathing are intimately connected changing one influences the other.

    Crucially, they both have a relationship with the autonomic nervous system and, of particular importance, the vagus nerve a meandering network within the system that connects to all the major internal organs .

    While treatments for patients with health problems, such as rapid heart rate, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction, often focus on individual organs, research suggests they may, in fact, be experiencing communication problems along the autonomic and vagal network .

    Despite breathing being an autonomic function, we can consciously take control, choosing how and when we breathe. Breathe heavy and fast, and we kick in our sympathetic nervous system. We ready ourselves to engage in our fight-or-flight response .

    Switching to deliberate, slow breathing flips our vagal response, and our parasympathetic system kicks in, allowing us to relax and recover, releasing powerful feel-good endorphins .

    So, what happens to our breathing when we get stressed?

    We typically overbreathe when rushing up the stairs to answer a call, running to catch a bus, or getting startled by a loud noise. Such breathing patterns can also result from habitual ways of responding to situations, including stress .

    Overbreathing can cause various symptoms that can leave us feeling more stressed, including :

    Ais Certified Breathing Tools:

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    Learning the basics of these breathing techniques isnt difficult, but it does take practice. AIS stress experts recommend setting aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice. If that sounds like a daunting commitment, remember that many of these techniques can be incorporated into your existing daily schedulepracticed at your desk over lunch or on the bus during your morning commute.

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    Breathing Exercises To Calm The Brain Reduce Stress & Cure Anxiety

    Youve probably heard the expression, just breathe through it. When a situation is stressful, breathing deeply and evenly can help to cure anxiety and reduce stress. Why is that so? Theres a very important link between feeling calm, nasal breathing, better sleep, and brain health.

    In Taoist philosophy its taught that The wise man/woman breathes from his/her heels. Physically speaking, this phrase is a reference to the fact breathing deeply into the body is incredibly good for health. Today research is revealing how breathing affects the brain.

    The human brain is bathed with crystal clear liquid called cerebrospinal fluid . CSF carries oxygen and nutrients to brain cells while removing waste products. Recent studies using magnetic resonance imaging show a link between CSF flow and breathing.

    In this article, well explore the process of breathing and how it affects the brain.

    Mistake #2 Breathing Too Quickly

    If you are making the first mistake of breathing too shallow, you are probably making the second mistake too. That is breathing too quickly aka hyperventilating. You might associate this with asthma or panic attacks which is an extreme version of hyperventilation. However, most of us are constantly breathing too quickly in a mild hyperventilation.

    Breathing in this way sends a major red flag to your nervous system that you are in danger. Fast breathing is reserved for extreme states when it is important to activate your fight or flight response. A normal breathing rate is around 10-15 breaths per minute, any more than this and you are over-breathing. In yoga we encourage an even slower breath, sometimes as little as 6 breaths per minute.

    This rate of breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system state. Slow breathing also slows heart rate and can reduce blood pressure. You might think that breathing more quickly will get more oxygen into your body but this is not the case. For optimal oxygenation and energy, you want to breathe better not harder.

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    Slowing Down Your Breathing

    Lewis suggests that slowing down our breathing, from the typical adult at-rest rate of between 12 and 15 breaths per minute closer to 6 breaths per minute, benefits our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing and overall degree of stress.

    The drop in breathing rate is considerable and should not be forced. Instead, the goal is to slow your breathing while remaining comfortable. Practice for a few minutes per day for change to take place naturally.

    Your aim is simple: deepen your breathing and lengthen your exhalation to help turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, or your relaxation response .

    Lewis suggests keeping your spine erect yet supple, opening up the spaces of your body. Take deeper breaths, expanding the abdomen then chest to increase the amount of air you take in. Visualize your body filling and emptying itself of air, following each breath with your body and mind.

    One way to maintain focus on the length of exhalation is through counting. Once relaxed, your breathing easy and gentle, slowly count the out-breath in your head. Then, if you can do it comfortably, try extending your next exhalation by a count of one. Keep breathing at this new count, unless you cannot easily maintain it then reduce again by one.

    Restricting the out-breath through increasingly pursed lips can also be helpful as a way of slowing exhalation. This also makes it easier to pay more attention to the sounds of the air as it escapes.

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