Part of maintaining a happy lifestyle is to manage your stress and anxiety. When you are experiencing anxiety, it might seem hopeless to regain control of yourself. Anxiety is a natural response to stress. It can cause you to feel fear or apprehension. To overcome this overwhelming feeling, you can utilize breathing strategies.
It might sound odd to use breathing to manage anxiety, but there’s a good reason why breathing techniques can be so influential. You can consciously control your breathing without any outside influences. You can’t do that with other aspects of your physiology.
Without medications, supplements, or other outside means you can’t immediately:
- Alter your digestion.
- Change your blood pressure.
- Decide where your body is going to store fat.
- Alter the level of hormones in your blood.
But you can control your breathing. You can breathe faster, slower, deeply, or shallowly. You can change your breathing at will. However, you just can’t say to yourself, “I’m going to reduce my blood pressure by 10 points,” and make it happen immediately without outside sources.
Your breathing has a great effect on your physiology.
Using the power of your breath can be an effective way of managing your anxiety. Best of all, it’s free and always available to you.
“During stressful moments, conscious breathing allows you to shift and release negative energy instead of storing it in your body. This is important, because stored-up energy often manifests as muscle tension and other physical ailments.”Laura A. Peterson, R.N.
Laura A. Peterson, a Registered Nurse, states in a Mayo Clinic article, “During stressful moments, conscious breathing allows you to shift and release negative energy instead of storing it in your body. This is important, because stored-up energy often manifests as muscle tension and other physical ailments.”
When you focus on breathing more oxygen is exchanged into your red blood cells and in turn more oxygen is passed to your organs and muscle groups. Slow, focused breaths can also help facilitate ridding your body of excess carbon dioxide.
Take care though, because over-breathing can be problematic too.
Hyperventilation is caused by exhaling more than you inhale. This can lead to physiological problems such as narrowing of the blood vessels which then makes it more difficult for your body to deliver oxygen to the parts that need it most.
This is why some people faint during anxiety attacks or times of stress. When blood flow is low and is not reaching a person’s brain efficiently, sometimes the response is fainting. This is not the only cause of fainting, and you should consult a physician if you are regularly experiencing fainting spells.
The key to breathing strategies is to find balance.
How you breathe can have a powerful effect on your body and your emotions. Learn how to use your breath to your advantage. The answer to your anxiety might already be within you.
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