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The science of deep breathing

🍂Controlled deep breathing is an incredibly effective tool, for not only stress, but many other aspects of health 🍂Its been around in some cultures for millenia, and is a part of many traditional practices such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, and chanting 🍂Deep slow breathing works by activating the vagus nerve, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (the 'rest and digest' system) 🍂As a result this reduces sympathetic nerve activity ('fight or flight'), which drives the symptoms of stress, and release of stress hormones 🍂The act of focusing on the breath also works as a meditation to calm the mind via reducing the 'alarm' signals in the brain (amygdala) and improving frontal cortex function (concentration, decision making, creativity etc) 🍂Controlled deep breathing has been shown to: -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 - may improve blood sugar levels in diabetics -improve gut issues such as reflux & ibs - 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, although any deep slow breathing can help. There are also other breathing methods such as alternate nostril breathing, which can have benefits 🍂Breathing through your nose, and into your abdomen (belly breathing) is the most effective method 🍂I'm a huge fan of 'mindful moments' ie pausing briefly throughout the day and doing a short cycle of controlled deep breathing - it really works to reduce stress! Try it in stressful situations ie in traffic, before meetings, or simply when you need to calm your mind. 🍂Starting and ending the day with a few minutes of breathing is also great ❤️ (breathing and cancer),activity%20of%20many%20internal%20organs.

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