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Stop Anxiety In Its Tracks With These Simple Breathing Hacks

Today. I'm going to discuss five ways to find more calm and more relaxation and to ease anxiety using your breath.


The breath is the master controller when it comes to soothing anxiety and calming the nervous system, we just need to know how.


Hack 1: Slow Down Your Breathing,


The tell tale sign that somebody is in a stress response or they're in mild hyperventilation syndrome, Is that they're they're breathing extremely quickly. Their respiratory rate is much higher than it needs to be, and as a result, they're blowing off too much carbon dioxide which in turn is decreasing the oxygen efficiency of the blood going to the cells.


In actuality, what we want to be doing is breathing more in alignment with our unique metabolic rate and therefore we want to be slowing down the breath.


A good goal to work. towards is about 6 seconds per minute which works out to about five to six seconds per inhale and per exhale. This is actually something called Resonant Frequency or Coherence Breathing, which has a whole cascade of amazing science backed proven benefits for your physiology


- Heart, mind & body coherence/ synergy/ harmony

- Improved Heart Rate Variability (ability to handle stress)

- Balanced autonomic nervous system

- Improved cognitive function

- Connection to the hearts intuition & wisdom


As such, it good to just work this into your daily habitual breathing. By practicing this flowing, rhythmic method consistently and regularly this state can become much easier to achieve and can actually become our unconscious habitual breathing pattern, this is what most martial artists work towards.


In fact Lao Tzu the writer of the Tao Te Ching, which is known as one of the wisest books ever written once it said:


" The perfect man breathes as if he is not breathing at all"


To recap, many people are over breathing and if you're somebody who's feeling stressed and anxious the likelihood is that you're actually going to be breathing predominantly in the upper chest very quickly. So we want to be slowing the breath right down relaxing the body and finding calm settling into the body by slowing the breath down.


This is exactly how we breathe when we're very deeply relaxed. when we're in deep sleep and when we're in deep meditation, the breath can flow very very very very smoothly.


So we really want to slow the breath down and ultimately the reason for this is so we breathe more in alignment with our actual metabolic rate and we increase our oxygen efficiency when we slow down the breath.


I know it's not what you would into it that actually by breathing less. We increase our oxygen efficiency, but this is how it works.


The other thing when we breathe slowly is that we slow down our heart rate. You can imagine your heart as being similar to a car. And the number of beats it takes being analogous to the number of miles the car drives. The more miles the car drives, the quicker the car will become a right off. Similarly, the more beats your heart takes per minute, the more energy it exudes and the quicker the heart will fail.


And if you look at the animals that actually live the longest, they're the ones with the lowest heart rate and the lowest respiratory rate


So by slowing down your breathing, you slow down your heart rate, therefore elongating your life. This is the basis of pranayama extension of life force, extension of life. So slow down to live more.



Hack 2: Breath Diaphragmatically

The second suggestion that I have for you is actually to breathe like a baby breathes.


If you watch how a baby breathes it will be breathing with its belly. It will be breathing diaphragmatically. Expansive n 360 degrees, all directions.


If you don't know what your diaphragm is, there is a sheet of muscle that sits just below the floating ribs and what this does is it create a vacuum inside your chest cavity drawing air into the body.


So when we inhale our diaphragm pulls down this huge sheet of muscle pulling down and drawing the air into the lungs.This is your primary breathing muscle.





The problem lies with the fact that most people absolutely aren't using this muscle at all and they're breathing very shallow in the chest.


What this is doing is its directly stimulating a stress response in the body because the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight response) has more nerves situated in the upper lobes of the lungs. So therefore by breathing in this way, we're actually stimulating that sympathetic response.


If you look at how somebody's breathing when they're out of breath when they've been activated, they'll be breathing in a largely using the upper chest. Sometimes people use the shoulders and the neck.


So the invitation is actually to not use your shoulders or use your neck and to instead use your primary breathing muscle, which is your diaphragm.