We have all experienced how emotions affect our breathing. We get excited and naturally take in a deep breath before saying something like "oh my!" Or if we are scared we hold our breath in.
Our emotions affect our breath. And we can use our breath to change our emotions. Our breath has a direct relationship with our nervous system and stress response.
To calm ourselves with breath the easiest practice to do is to create a longer exhale breath than inhale. Simply breathe out a few seconds longer than your inhale.
This works because the out breath engages the parasympathetic nervous system. It has a biological effect to calm us down and take our bodies out of a high alert, stress state of being.
I LOVE a good sigh.
Especially after good news or I’ve just finished something stressful. It can feel so good, hhhaaa.
Did you know we naturally sigh about 12 times an hour? You’re probably not aware of it because it’s an automatic mechanism of respiration. And because they are usually pretty quiet.
Physiologically they are used to increase lung volume and to exercise alveoli in the lungs. The alveoli are the small “air sacks” in the lungs where oxygen is exchanged with the blood capillaries. So sighing is pretty important for the physiology of breathing.
Sighing also plays an important role in psychological health. They are unconscious outward expression of emotions and automatic reactions to stressors. For example, a big sigh before speaking to a group of people.
It is also a response to changes of the autonomic nervous system, when a body goes from sympathetic to parasympathetic, or vice versa. A sigh can be your body’s way of revving up for a stressful event or your body’s way to down regulate your body’s stress response. It can engage your parasympathetic nervous system.
So why not turn this non-conscious reaction into a purposeful little treat for yourself?
Click Read More below to learn how to start your own sigh practice.
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