In our last post, The Dangers of Stress, we highlighted a number of ways stress impacts our lives. But what can you do about it when the source of the stress is seemingly out of your control and there is no time to meditate or exercise? The answer is simple - breathe deeply.
‘Breathing is the basis for all of our cellular functions, our energetic well-being, even our emotional health.’ The Healing Power of Sound Mitchell L. Gaynor, M.D.
Deep breathing influences our emotional and mental states. When one breaths deeply the lower parts of our lungs, which are filled with tiny blood vessels that carry oxygen to our cells, receive the adequate amount of oxygen for our bodies. However, a shallow breather starves those blood vessels causing the heart rate and blood pressure to increase as the cardiovascular system works overtime to compensate. Shallow and short breathing is also the typical stress response during a state of panic. During such times the body's sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive and our adrenal glands pump out stress hormones such as adrenaline. Therefore, deep breathing helps calm the body and reduces anxiety, it balances our hormones and supports our immune cells. Next time you find yourself a little overwhelmed, focus on your breathing, breathe deeply into your lungs and bring balance back to your body.