Several studies have shown how deep breathing can slow your heart rate and reduce blood pressure. This kind of breathing is known to stimulate the Vagus nerve, which reduces the “fight or flight” response that causes feelings of anxiety or tension. The breathing gives you a chance to manage those feelings and your stress levels, allowing you to calm yourself down easily in just a few moments.
Deep breathing can be practiced anywhere and anytime. Try it now using the steps listed below, and try to practice breathing on the go, or mindful breathing, throughout your day.
- Stand, sit or lay down comfortably, inhale for 3 to 6 seconds through your nose and exhale 3 to 6 seconds out through your mouth. This is a cleansing breath to center you.
- Place your awareness on your breath, inhaling and exhaling normally through your nose.
- When thoughts arise, simply label them, “thinking” or “wandering” to yourself, and return your awareness to your breath. It is natural for thoughts to arise, but the exercise here is to return to mindful breathing.
- You can practice mindful breathing for as little as 30 seconds to 20 minutes. It is up to you and what your needs are.
I hope that by stopping to take a breath, you can manage your stress levels, improve your overall health, and reduce your risk of heart disease. Namaste!