Breathing is a primary vital function, essential to our survival. Its goal ? Bringing oxygen to the body's cells and expelling carbon dioxide. But not only ! It is also very useful in cases of stress.
Innate reflex, note that it is not the only automatic vital function that we can control at any time by modifying its rhythm, thus positively impacting our body and our mind.
Orientals have always known the fundamental role of breathing control on health. In the West, we tend to forget the benefits of correct breathing.
However, we have some intuitive notions: when we are serene, our breathing is calm, regular with equal inspiration and expiration. On the contrary, nervousness, stress, fear or anger tend to take our breath away, making us hold it. The stress of our living conditions has made breathing more rapid and jerky and has modified the movement of the diaphragm, the role of which is essential in optimizing health.
The diaphragm is the breathing muscle that delimits our thorax and abdomen. It is located below the lungs. He is extremely sensitive to stress, fear, emotional and traumatic shocks .
Its blockage causes disruptions to our breathing. You have difficulty breathing normally, your breath is short and high as your body goes into “fight or flight” mode to face danger. Your solar plexus is knotted and painful . This is the typical breathing of a stressed and anxious person. This high breathing impairs the ability of our cells to capture oxygen (this feeling of being in respiratory apnea) and in the medium term promotes the adoption of a bad posture, shoulders drawn in, withdrawing into ourselves. The vicious circle is established.
Breathing better can be learned!
The lasting solution to manage your stress is to (re)learn to breathe on a daily basis to rebalance your nervous system. Breathing is a tool that is always available: at home, in the office or on vacation.
Paying attention to your breathing will first help you to be in the “here and now” by reconnecting with yourself. This will also allow you to silence your inner critic for a while by returning to your physical sensations, which will help reduce your stress by reducing the pressure.
Belly breathing is second to none for improving digestion , sleep, venous return and pain management.
The ultimate anti-stress ally, it allows you to regain the full and regular breathing that we all experienced as babies. Very relaxing, it promotes neuromuscular relaxation resulting in relaxation of the mind and better oxygenation of the brain . The range of movements also massages all the digestive organs, improving the circulation of fluids and promoting the evacuation of waste.
Take a comfortable lying or semi-recumbent position. Place your hands on your stomach to fully feel its comings and goings to the rhythm of your breathing. Inhale through your nose, inflating your stomach like a balloon. Exhale gently through your mouth, letting it come down
Additional tip: to reinforce the benefits of this breathing, imagine yourself breathing in something positive and breathing out everything that bothers and upsets you.
Cardiac coherence to soothe the heart and mind
Following the 365 rule: 3 times a day, 6 breaths per minute for 5 minutes. Cardiac coherence is at its maximum when this resonance frequency of 6 respiratory cycles per minute is reached. Practicing breathing sessions at 6 complete cycles per minute means inhaling for 5 seconds then exhaling for 5 seconds, 6 times per minute.
- Inhale deeply through your nose for 5 seconds using abdominal breathing (i.e. letting your stomach expand)
- Blow deeply through your mouth for 5 seconds, always with your stomach.
- Repeat this alternation of inspiration/exhalation 18 to 30 times (6 breaths per minute for 3 to 5 minutes).
Mindful walking outdoors to clear your head
Sometimes it is difficult to breathe in a controlled manner. We just need to pay attention to it for everything to mix together and for us to lose control in our inspiration-exhalation cycles. This is what often happens when someone with asthma is asked to control their breathing. Just thinking about it can cause him to have a seizure.
For you, those new to breathing, start by going out to get some fresh air in an outdoor place conducive to daydreaming. When calm sets in, little by little synchronize the number of your steps with a given time of inhalations/exhalations. For example: Inhale for 4 steps and exhale for 6 steps.
And if you really don't have time: opt for sighing and yawning
- Managing stress, anxiety and its consequences
- Taking a step back when unpleasant emotions pass through us
- Restorative sleep
- A reduction in cravings
- Better concentration
- Optimization of learning
- Better knowledge of yourself and your body image