Ever have someone tell you to "just breathe" when you're super stressed out, having a panick or anxiety attack?
Your first instinct is probably to slap them! There's a decent chance they don't really know what they're talking about and only repeating what they've heard in the past.
I'm here to tell you that there's scientific proof behind breathing exercises and how they benefit many things including stress, anxiety, and panic episodes. Not only is there scientific proof, but I can personally tell you that they work through personal use and professional experience with my clients.
The thing to know is how to do it! If decided to start breathing in and out from your mouth, especially at an accellerated rate, you're not doing yourself any favours in this case. Mouth breathing can bring about your fight or flight response. Picture running away from a bear or lion! Scary stressful stuff and it will turn on that same fight or flight response. Yikes!
On the other hand, deep breathing, in and out through the nose, that fills up the lungs to the point of the belly rising will turn on an opposite response. One that will help you relax! Take it a step further and breath at a ratio of 1:2 and you're helping the process along even more.
Breathe in for the nose for one deep breath and exhale through the nose for a count of 2. As you practice, work your way up to a count of 4 in and 8 out.
Keep in mind that if you're new to breathing techniques, take it slow and easy. Too much deep breathing, if you're not use to it, can make you a bit light headed.
The breath demonstrated in this video starts at a 1:2 ratio and works it's way up to 3:6.
Start at the 1:45 minute mark to skip the intro and get to the teaching segment of the video.
As a bonus, this breathing technique is also great for winding down before bed to get a better night's sleep.
— My Yoga Playground (@myyogaplay) January 23, 2017