Inspiration, expiration… Breathing is an innate act. However, as in certain cases, a good breathing technique can help us to control our stress, it is not useless to know how to breathe well. And guess what! You can learn to do so in order to prevent and heal stress and anxiety whenever needed. Actually, there are two ways to breathe: thoracic breathing and abdominal breathing.
How to Fight Stress with Thoracic Breathing?
Thoracic breathing is the type of respiration we practice unconsciously and instinctively in the vast majority of cases. We take short breaths, thus only half filling our lungs. The functional result is sufficient but imperfect, unless you transform it into intermittent breathing. Intermittent breathing consists of doing normal respiration but by stopping for 4 seconds before exhaling. It turns out that this technique is highly effective to reduce stress and anxiety. Plus, you can perform it anytime, whenever you can be. You will find more about intermittent breathing and its benefits on stress on https://www.intermittent-breathing.com/.
Abdominal Breathing against Stress
For much improved results, it is recommended to practice abdominal breathing, which uses the abdomen and the diaphragm. This second method is more difficult to practice because it requires being aware of your own breathing. Yet, it is as effective as intermittent breathing to relieve stress rapidly and naturally. Longer breaths fill the entire lungs. By inhaling through the nostrils, the belly swells, and by exhaling through the mouth, it empties. Abdominal breathing also allows good muscle relaxation, thus fighting stress instantly and on the long run. This is well understood by aficionados of yoga or sophrology, to name just a few.
We also call this way to breathe deep breathing and it allows you the lower the pression as soon as you feel stressed. Why? Because when you consciously take a deep breath, you send a message to your brain to calm down both your mind and your body. Hence, you will be more relaxed and will look at life in a new way. Eventually, all the consequences of stress like fast breathing, higher blood pressure and increased heart rate will get lower and lower as you gently perform abdominal breathing.
In sum, the way we breathe can help us stress or on the contrary, fight stress. To calm down, you have the choice between intermittent breathing and abdominal respiration. You can also alternate between these two techniques if you want.