Breathing is a vital function of our body. Breathing air, blood cells receive oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a waste product that is transported back through your body and exhaled. The fact is, improper breathing can disrupt the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that will lead to anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue and other physical and emotional disorders.
Breathing is something that we do not usually pay much attention to. However, you should know that there are two types of breathing patterns, such as thoracic (chest) breathing and diaphragmatic (abdominal) breathing. When you are anxious you tend to make rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest; this is thoracic or chest breathing. The most interesting is that you may not even realize that you are breathing this way.
In fact, chest breathing causes an upset in the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body, which leads to an increase in heart rate, dizziness, muscle tension and other physical sensations. Your blood is not sufficiently oxygenated, and this can be a signal of a stress response that contributes to anxiety and panic attacks.
As for diaphragmatic (abdominal) breathing, you make deep breaths; this is how newborn babies naturally breathe. Most people use this type of breathing when they are in a relaxed stage of sleep.
What is the difference between chest and abdominal breathing? You can easily determine which type of breathing you use, just put one hand on your upper abdomen near the waist and the other in the middle of your chest. During breathing, pay attention to which hand raises the most.
If you breathe properly, your stomach should expand and contract with each breath. You must remember these differences during stressful and anxious situations, when you are more likely to breathe from your chest.
How can you cope with anxiety? You just need to follow this simple breathing technique:
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your abdomen should expand, and your chest should rise very little.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you blow air out, purse your lips slightly, but keep your jaw relaxed. You may hear a soft “whooshing” sound as you exhale.
-You should repeat this breathing exercise for several minutes.
Do this exercise when you feel anxious or stressed as often as you need it. You can do this by standing up, sitting down or lying down. Try it and you will be amazed at the results!
Take just a few minutes out of each day to bring yourself to a state of calm and wellness and balance your life using a combination of guided meditations and mindfulness techniques. The techniques are a simple, practical relaxation method for anyone.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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