Remember to Exhale. I can’t tell you how often my husband would walk by while I was charting on weekends or late at night and would say this to me. He could overlook my posture, however the shallow breathing was too much. So today, I am going to share more about this reminder.
When I get tense, I breathe shallowly, and as it turns out when I breathe shallow, I get anxious.
Bit of a Mobius strip.
“The rate and depth we breathe at is a huge determinant of our mental state and our physical state. We are hardwired so that if we are breathing shallow and fast, it causes our nervous system to upregulate, and we feel tense and anxious. If we are breathing slowly, it turns on the anti-stress response. It increases the healthy patterns of arousal … or vagal tone. So it is good to consciously slow and deepen our breathing. ” shares Elissa Epel, PhD, Prof and Vice-Chair for Adult Psychology, UCSF Dept of Psychiatry.
It is important to remember that watching TV or scrolling does not lead to a relaxation response.
Here is a guided pranayama video.
A metanalysis from Zaccaro et al. reviewed 2,461 abstracts and found 15 met their inclusion criteria on this topic.
Slow breathing techniques act enhancing autonomic, cerebral and psychological flexibility in a scenario of mutual interactions: we found evidence of links between parasympathetic activity (increased HRV and LF power), CNS activities (increased EEG alpha power and decreased EEG theta power) related to emotional control and psychological well-being in healthy subjects.
They proposed two different mechanisms for explaining the changes induced by voluntary control of slow breathing: one is related to a voluntary regulation of internal bodily states (enteroception), the other is associated to the role of mechanoreceptors within the nasal vault in translating slow breathing in modulation of olfactory bulb activity, which in turn tunes the activity of the entire cortical mantle.
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Effectiveness: Zaccaro, A., et al (2018). How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00353