How many times have you heard someone say to an anxious person the words: ‘just breathe!’ or ‘calm down, take a breath’? Did it ever make you wonder why there seems to be a central focus on breathing better in such a situation?
In a stressful situation, most have difficulty breathing normally, and this inability to breathe properly may have a secondary effect, leading to stress and other mental health issues. A regular breathing practice may help people feel more relaxed in their daily life. Some studies, however, suggest that concentrating on your breathing during times of extreme stress may be beneficial.
Breathe Better, Stay Calmer
Breathing patterns can cause a sequence of physical and mental effects on the body, encouraging either tension or a feeling of calmness and peace.
The human body’s neurological system up-regulates when people breathe very shallowly and quickly, making them feel stressed and anxious. It effectively activates the anti-stress reaction when we breathe slowly.
Particular breathing practices can help to increase parasympathetic tranquility and calmness. Many may also stimulate the secretion of hormones such as prolactin and potentially oxytocin, the affection and bonding molecule.
“Take a deep breath’
Panic attacks are a common stress response and are often a result of emotional build-up that people keep bottled up inside their chests. They can be very ugly and equally scary. “Take a deep breath” is often a phrase heard when a person is stressed. These words have logic and indicate that practicing good breathing exercises is super helpful.
Breathwork can help you slow down an acute stress response and avoid health issues with persistent stress.
Deep abdominal breathing lowers blood pressure by evoking the body’s relaxation state. More advanced techniques, such as Holotropic breathwork with a professional instructor, have been related to improved addiction recovery and therapeutic stress and trauma relief.
Breathwork has been used for treating and sustaining good health in China, India, Japan, and Tibet for centuries. Breathwork has been documented in China from 2700 B.C.E. and in India since 3000 B.C.E. Since then, the practices have been developed for current use and are backed up by scientific data.
Several breathing techniques (such as box breathing) are developed from the pranayama Sama Vritti. They involve inhaling for four seconds, holding for four, exhaling for four seconds, holding for four, and repeating. Other techniques include 4-7-8 breathing, which is frequently suggested to aid people who have sleeping problems.
Being conscious of how people breathe in regular life as they perform their daily tasks, such as watching the TV, is another major aspect.
This practice, which mental health practitioners often recommend, involves inhaling deeply for four counts. Followed by a breath hold for four counts and slowly exhaling for four counts. After that, hold your breath for four counts before inhaling for yet another four counts as they repeat the process.
Breathing is, at its core, an important part of many mindfulness and Buddhist meditation practices, and it may be one of the reasons they function so well for so many countless people all over the world. Researchers urged participants with an anxiety disorder to practice alternate nostril breathing or mindful breath awareness for 10 minutes two days straight in a 2017 trial. They discovered that practicing alternate nostril breathing was three times more effective at lowering anxiety levels.
Breathing better can help a person’s heart rate to adjust to a healthier rhythm and cause muscle relaxation so that the body loses its tense state.
Breath focus assists you in disconnecting from unwanted sensory stimuli by allowing you to concentrate on steady, deep breathing (Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response, 2020).
The first steps are to find a peaceful, relaxing spot to sit or lie down. Take a regular breath first. Then take a deep breath through the nose, allowing the chest and lower belly to rise as the lungs fill. Then the abdomen can fully relax. After that, slowly exhaling through the mouth is recommended. Progressive muscle relaxation aids physical and mental calm.
The deep breathing practice can be paired up with a visual image or even a focus word or phrase to help people stay calm and focused. The guidance provided by an instructor can also help people meditate better.
Fuller, broader breathing can be accomplished by breathing from the diaphragm, which is located between the chest area and the abdominal region. Laying down with bent knees and feet flat on the floor, one hand on the sternum and one hand on the stomach is the simplest approach to this particular breathing technique. Inhale, feeling the abdominals and chest lift, hold your breath until you reach the peak, and then release the breath, allowing your abdomen and chest to sink.
Human beings have considerably diminished the natural excitement of their bodies by wearing garments and deliberately controlling the temperatures at home and in the workplace, wasting away the old systems related to our existence and working of the human body. Researchers verified the practicality of applying a single Wim Hof breathing method session before the repeated sprinting performance, and immediate effects were examined. Around three-quarters of them said they felt better, with less exhaustion, more energy, and better breathing.
Breathing exercises are the foundation of the Wim Hof Method. We are continually breathing, but we’re oblivious of its enormous potential most of the time. Increased oxygen levels provide dozens of new advantages. The Wim Hof Method’s specific breathing exercise uncovers them all; these include increased energy, lower stress levels, and a better immune system reaction that can quickly cope with infections.