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Research: Why Breathing Is So Effective at Reducing Stress

Research: Why Breathing Is So Effective at Reducing Stress

https://hbr.org/2020/09/research-why-breathing-is-so-effective-at-reducing-stress?

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Breathing And Stress Reduction

Breathing And Stress Reduction

Breathing exercises are an ancient and time-tested technique to reduce stress, manage negative emotions and help with many other ailments.

New studies show that breathing exercises are extremely effective in both long-term and short-term stress reduction. Changing your breath from an irregular one to a calm, deep one has a calming effect on our emotions, slows our heart rate, and signals relaxation.

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The Effectiveness Of Breathing

When we are in a highly stressed state, no amount of ‘talking’ can calm us down as our brain's prefrontal cortex region is impaired at those moments.

Breathing regulates our emotions like stress, anxiety and anger, and helps us regain control of our mind.

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Types Of Breathing Exercises

  • The most common and effective breathing exercise is to breathe in (inhale) for four seconds and then breathe out(exhale) for about eight seconds, for a few minutes. Lengthening our exhales reduces agitations, calming us down.
  • There are several deep breathing programs like SKY Breath Meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction (being aware of each moment without judgement) and others which are highly impactful and need to be studied in detail to get the full benefits.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Breathing and anxiety

Breathing and anxiety

We have become pretty bad at the most basic act of living: breathing. We breathe through our mouths and into our chests, and we do it way too fast.

Besides the health prob...

How breathing can calm us

Instead of trying to think yourself out of feeling anxious, you can do something more specific: breathe slow or fast, in a particular rhythm, or through a nostril; this can work as an instant relief.

A regular breathing practice will help you feel calmer in daily situations, but studies suggest that focusing on your breathing in moments of acute stress could also be useful.

Breathing: stress vs relaxation

The way we breathe can set off a cascade of physical changes in the body that promote either stress or relaxation.

Breathing impacts the sympathetic (“fight or flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) branches of our nervous system, and certain techniques can promote more parasympathetic calm and relaxation. Some may also cause us to release hormones like prolactin and possibly oxytocin, the feel-good hormone of love and bonding.

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The Importance Of Breathing Techniques

The Importance Of Breathing Techniques
  • Many different civilizations have practiced different breathing techniques as a part of their culture and their lifestyles, such as Taoists and Hindus.
  • Proper breathing a...

The Special Power Of Breathing

  • The power of breathing is evident with people who have breathing disorders. As emotions affect our well-being, so does our breathing.
  • Our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are in control of producing feelings of calmness and the latter, the body's rapid involuntary response to stressful situations.
  • Many studies have confirmed the effects of breathing techniques against anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Although they do not disappear entirely, it helps alleviate their symptoms.

Cardiac Coherence

  • It is a popular technique that promotes relaxation by coordinating our breathing, slowly and steadily, with our heart rate, stabilizing the heartbeat.
  • There are many versions to cardiac coherence: 5-second inhale-exhale for a 5-minute repetition or 4-second inhale 6-second exhale cycle.
  • Cardiac coherence’s stabilization of the heartbeat can dampen anxiety powerfully.

Frequency of breath

Even though we have been breathing for all our lives, we can still learn a lot about this most basic instinct.

Quick, shallow, and unfocused breathing may contribute to anxiety, depression, ...

Breathwork

Breathwork is not the same as mindfulness. Mindfulness involves passive observation of the breath, whereas breathwork requires you to actively change the way you breathe.

Breathwork includes ensuring you breath with your diaphragm, rather than the movement of your chest. It will fill your lungs with more air while also slowing the pace of your breathing.

Speed ramp to relaxation

Right breathing can have a profound effect on calming the mind quickly and can act as a speed ramp into the meditation practice by getting you to that place of no-thought.