The first thing we do on entering the world is inhale, and the last thing we do is exhale. We breath without thinking, some 20,000 times a day. Breathing is central to life and central to the functioning of our body and mind. Stress causes our heart rate to increase, causing shorter, faster intakes of breath and over time can take it's toll on our wellbeing. From their very first gasp, babies respire as nature intended, ribs expanding, torso rising and falling. This instinctive ability decreases due to stress, emotional trauma and our high-pressure lifestyles.
By consciously changing our breathing patterns we can slow our heart rate and bring about greater calmer releasing stress hormones like cortisol. There is a clear link between our breath and our emotions, with us often holding our breath when we get a shock, are fearful or something upsetting happens. Similarly, when you are feeling calm and safe, at rest, or engaged in a pleasant social exchange, your breathing slows and deepens. Poor breathing techniques are responsible for increasing stress and anxiety, lowering our energy levels and even affecting our cardiovascular health. We can reverse these effects simply by relearning how to breathe properly. When you take slow, steady breaths, your brain gets the message that all is well.
There are various kinds of breathing techniques which you can try and practice to induce the relaxation response.
Coherent Breathing is a form of breathing that involves taking long slow breaths at a rate of about five per minute. Coherent breathing, or deep breathing, helps to calm the body. If you have never practiced breathing exercises before, you may have to work up to this practice slowly, starting with inhaling and exhaling to the count of three and working your way up to six.
Coherent breathing is a simple and easy way to reduce stress and calm down when feeling anxious. By controlling our breath, we can affect our body in a positive way. You can download an app for your mobile phone that guides you through the proper lengths of inhaling and exhaling if you want to practice coherent breathing.
Below Are Several Different Breathing Techniques for you to try: