The first and last thing that we do in our lives is to take a breath, yet it’s an action that’s often taken for granted. Not everyone knows, however, that the mind, body, and breath are intimately connected. The way we breathe is influenced by our thoughts, while our thoughts and physiology is influenced by our breath.
This is why learning how to breathe consciously, through a practice known as pranayama, can help in restoring the balance in your mind and body.
What happens when you’re stressed?
When you feel stressed, your sympathetic nervous system tends to trigger your body’s fight-or-flight response. Since you’re given a burst of energy as a way to react to the perceived danger, your breaths become shallow and rapid. You breathe through your chest. Thus, you often feel short of breath.
It doesn’t help that your body produces a surge of hormones that increases your blood pressure and pulse rate.
Taking a deep breath
Most of the time, calming yourself from these stressful thoughts begins by breathing deeply. As you take a deep breath, all these negative symptoms are reversed instantly. Your mind and body becomes calm, and your heart rate and blood pressure slows down into a calm pace.