Why You Should Breathe Deeper.

There are times we all get stressed out and become anxious. Some people have anxiety attacks, which are incredibly uncomfortable. Did you know you have the ability to reduce your stress, anxiety, anger, and inflammation? It is, You can reduce these feeling by activating the “relaxation response” of your parasympathetic nervous system. You can do it anywhere, anytime and It will work because our bodies automatically respond to it.

There are many things we do throughout the day that we are not entirely aware of how they work — for example, turning on your lights, texting on your phone, or sending an email on your computer. You don’t know exactly how it happens, and if you are like me, you don’t want to know. Our bodies have many things that happen automatically. For example, our breathing, our temperature, the release of hormones like insulin, and the list goes on.

When it comes to deep breathing, there is a nerve called the vagus nerve. You can indirectly stimulate the vagus nerve by deliberately taking deep breaths known as diaphragmatic breathing or slow breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is part of a feedback loop that improves vagal tone by stimulating the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system. So, when you take a deep breath, it activates specific neurons that detect your blood pressure is high. The neurons signal the valgus nerve that your blood pressure is becoming too high. Then your valgus nerve responds by lowering your heart rate, and then your blood pressure will come down.

Diaphragmatic breathing is not new. Studies have been going on since the 1970s, from thought leaders such as Herbert Benson and Jon Kabat-Zinn, which popularized the paramount importance of deep breathing. Studies showed that slow abdominal breathing was very effective at reducing the stress-related response.

Before you begin, locate a place that you will be able to relax, uninterrupted for 10 minutes. You can sit down or lay down whichever works best for you. Once you are comfortable, inhale very slowly through your nose. As you inhale consciously think about filling up your lungs from the bottom to the top until you cannot suck in any more air. It should take you around four seconds. Next, slowly begin to release the air through with your lips pursed. When I say slowly, it means over six seconds. After repeating this cycle a few times, your heart rate will slow down & you will feel more relaxed. Continue this cycle for as long but set out for at least ten minutes(consider setting a timer on your phone)

I suggest you do this every day so that you can do it without much thought. Then when you have a situation that is causing you to be anxious, you can STOP and begin your cycles.

Hopefully, the clinical evidence and information on using diaphragmatic breathing exercises to stimulate your vagus nerve presented herein will be of some use to you. 🙂