The Science Behind Deep Breathing
and Stress Reduction.
Deep breathing is a simple yet powerful technique for reducing stress and improving overall health. It is a form of relaxation that can be used to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote physical and mental wellbeing.
The science behind deep breathing and stress reduction is based on the body’s natural response to stress. When we experience stress, our bodies respond by releasing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones cause our heart rate and blood pressure to increase, and our breathing to become shallow and rapid. This is known as the “fight or flight” response.
Deep breathing helps to counteract this response by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for calming the body and restoring balance. When we take slow, deep breaths, our heart rate and blood pressure decrease, and our breathing becomes slower and deeper.
Deep breathing also helps to reduce levels of cortisol, the hormone released during times of stress. Studies have shown that deep breathing can reduce cortisol levels by up to 40%. This can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, and improve overall wellbeing.
It can also help to reduce levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is released during times of stress and can cause feelings of anxiety and irritability. This can help to reduce feelings of stress and improve mood.
How do we start?
1. Find a comfortable position: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Make sure your back is supported and your feet are flat on the floor.
2. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach: This will help you focus on the breath and ensure that you are breathing deeply.
3. Inhale slowly through your nose: Take a deep breath in through your nose, counting to four as you do so.
4. Hold your breath for a few seconds: Hold your breath for a few seconds, counting to four.
5. Exhale slowly through your mouth: Slowly exhale through your mouth, counting to four as you do so.
6. Repeat the cycle: Repeat the cycle of inhaling and exhaling for several minutes.
7. Focus on your breath: As you practice deep breathing, focus on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body.
8. Notice how you feel: Notice how your body feels after a few minutes of deep breathing.
9. Make it a habit: Make it a regular part of your daily routine.
Always remember to take it slow and with regular practice, you will be able to reap the benefits before you know it and enjoy a more relaxed and balanced lifestyle.
De Jesús Pérez
Ps. If you'd like to learn more about the work that we do, please book an introductory session let's take it from there.