How Deep Breathing Can Help You Relieve Stress
Stress is something we all deal with. The unfortunate thing about stress is that it doesn't care where you are or what you’re doing; driving a car, working at your desk, getting your kids ready for school. It can happen anywhere.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we told you there is a way to relieve stress no matter where you are? It starts with how you’re breathing.
Research is mounting that slowing down and deepening your breathing can have profound effects on the body.
Breathe Easy, Feel Relaxed
Breathing exercises have been shown to help control blood pressure, improve heart rate, make arteries more flexible and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which taps into the body’s fight-or-flight response to stress.
Andrew Weil, a physician and the founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona says, “Many researchers can’t imagine how something so simple could actually have effects on physiology.” Weil and other experts believe breathing has a place in a clinical setting.
Surprising Benefits of Deep Breathing
- Deeper Sleep: Those who suffer from insomnia sleep better and wake up less throughout the night when practicing deep breathing for 20 minutes before bed.
- Happier Mood: Deep breathing activates spots in the brain that are connected with antidepressant activities, which can help with treating irritability and moodiness.
- Less Anxiety: In a controlled trial conducted in 2015, women who did 8 weeks of twice-weekly yoga that had breathing exercises reduce anxiety significantly.
- Better Air Intake: Breathing slowly helps you take in more oxygen.
- Healthier Heart: In one study, breathing slowly for 30 minutes per day reduced blood pressure in those with hypertension.
All of this goes to say, nothing will help your stressed-out self if you ignore the symptoms. If you are dealing with headaches throughout the day or you’re not sleeping well, stop and ask yourself why.
If you continue to have stress problems, or your anxiety is more than what deep breathing can help, try acupuncture. Regular acupuncture has been proven to fight against stress and anxiety.