Deep Breathing to Lower Stress and Pain
Shared by Dr. Antonio Flaquer
Why is breathing such an essential component to managing stress? A lot of it has to do with the chemical effects that happen in our bodies when we do deep breathing. But did you know there is a technique to it? Breathing is not just in through nose and out your mouth. Instead, when you take a deep breath in you should be filling your belly up with air and it should take longer to exhale than it did to inhale. The reason why it is so important to breathe is to help decrease our stress. This allows us to slow down and take some time for ourselves. Breathing doesn’t have to happen only when you’re meditating even though it’s a great form of meditation. Breathing has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure which are two things that are increased when someone is stressed or having some form of anxiety. There are other forms of things we can do just to help slow down our heart rates, but breathing has been found to be one of the quickest ways to do that. There is a technique called 4, 7, 8. With your mouth closed you will breathe in for a 4 count through your nose, hold your breath for a count of 7, and exhale through your mouth with a count of 8. This is not only a great way to slow down your breathing, but also an excellent way to reset your thoughts. A lot of times we let our thoughts get the best of us and forget where we are at in the present moment when really our thoughts are just ideas. They are not facts and one thing we should know is whatever we put our focus on will become our reality. So don’t let stress get to you, just breathe, and remember to be in the moment.
Perciavalle, V., Blandini, M., Fecarotta, P. et al. The role of deep breathing on stress. Neurol Sci 38, 451–458 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-016-2790-8
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