A little reminder collaboation on breathwork from @memo.memoment and myself Mindful breathing is amazing for improving vagal tone and reducing stress - Its fast, simple, free, and can be done anywhere at any time!!
Slow deep controlled breaths switch off the sympathetic nervous system and switches on the parasympatheticsystem via the vagus nerve
Controlled deep breathing can : -reduce stress -improve anxiety, panic attacks, ptsd and depression -improve sleep -reduce muscle tension /headaches -reduce blood pressure and heart rate (it can even help some arrhythmias ie irregular heart rhythms) -improve lung function and respiratory conditions ie asthma and COPD - improve blood sugar levels in diabetics -improve gut issues such as reflux, ibs, & bloating - it has even been used to help cancer treatment, and may lengthen telomeres (ends of DNA responsible for ageing and disease)!
Breathing in for 4 seconds and out for 6 seconds seems to have the most evidence, with the longer exhale being crucial as this is what stimulates the vagus nerve Breathing through your nose, and into your belly (diaphragmatic breathing) helps to make this controlled and deep
Try repeat for 5-10 cycles and notice how you feel before and after. Then repeat as often as you can remember throughout the day - especially when stressed, tense, overwhelmed, or before sleep. Doing it when waking also starts the body in a relaxed state for the day