Breathing to Relieve Stress

Shared by Dr. Erik Waldeland

We have all been told at some point in time to take a deep breath to relieve stress when overwhelmed, but does the research support this tactic if we are looking to calm down?  Of course! There is evidence that when we get better at controlling our breathing, we are able to increase our parasympathetic activity and CNS activities related to emotional control and psychological well-being.  By having better control of our parasympathetic system, our stress hormones aren’t constantly released, and our bodies function much more efficiently as a whole.  Chronic stress (or inflammation as a result of the stress) is what leads to a vast majority of our chronic metabolic diseases over time.  Thus, if we are able to better manage that stress, and allow our heart and lungs to not have to work as hard, we allow our bodies to recover properly.


“The psycho-physiological changes in brain-body interaction observed in most of meditative and relaxing practices rely on voluntary slowing down of breath frequency.”

“Slow breathing techniques act enhancing autonomic, cerebral and psychological flexibility in a scenario of mutual interactions: we found evidence of links between parasympathetic activity (increased HRV and LF power), CNS activities (increased EEG alpha power and decreased EEG theta power) related to emotional control and psychological well-being”


If you are one that finds yourself under frequent states of stress, incorporating a breathing technique to slow down your breath-rate can be very beneficial to lower the overall stress on your body.  Remember, when we are recovering, it is essential that we not only address what we are eating, and how we are moving our bodies, but it is equally important that we properly manage our stress to decrease our overall perception of pain.



Zaccaro, A., Piarulli, A., Laurino, M., Garbella, E., Menicucci, D., Neri, B., & Gemignani, A. (2018). How breath-control can change your life: A systematic review on psycho-physiological correlates of slow breathing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12.


Our Message

When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our Chiropractors located in Dallas, near the corner of Mockingbird Ln. and Abrams Rd., will teach you what the research says about how and why we should eat a better diet, move more and have more positive thoughts. By improving these areas of our lives we can become healthier, stay out of pain and reduce risk of diabetes and other diseases!