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.
Here's how you can do this practice. Count how many seconds your natural inhale and exhale are. Next, make an effort to extend the out breath by a couple of seconds. For example, three seconds in, and 4 seconds out. Do this for a minute or two and you will notice your mind is more calm and body more relaxed.
I often have my patients do this breath when they are in my office for craniosacral therapy. It is a great tool to use to focus a busy mind. It also helps speed up the full body relaxation process.
Try this out and let me know what you think. It's a great practice to incorporate in your work day.
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