Friday, September 8, 2017

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Abdominal Breathing

Your breathing directly reflects the level of tension you carry in your body. Under tension, your breathing usually becomes shallow and rapid, and occurs high in the chest. When relaxed, you breathe more fully, more deeply, and from your abdomen. It’s difficult to be tense and to breathe from your abdomen at the same time.

Some of the benefits of abdominal breathing include: • Increased oxygen supply to the brain and muscles
  • Stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system - this part of autonomic nervous system (controlling automatic functions like breathing and heart) promotes a state of calmness. It works in a fashion exactly opposite to the sympathetic branch of your nervous system, which stimulates a state of emotional arousal and the very physiological reactions underlying a panic attack. 
  • A greater feeling of connectedness between the mind and body. A few minutes of deep abdominal breathing helps to calm thoughts and relaxes your whole body. 
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate, promoting calmness. 
  • Improved concentration. If your mind is racing, it is difficult to focus your attention. Abdominal breathing will help you to quiet your mind leaving you open to problem solving and logical thought. 
If you suffer from phobias, panic or anxiety disorders, it is likely that you will have one or two problems with your breathing.
  • You breathe too high in your chest or your breathing is shallow. 
  • You have a tendency to hyperventilate - breathing out too much carbon dioxide relative to the oxygen you take into your bloodstream. 
  • Shallow, chest level breathing, when rapid can lead to hyperventilation, which in turn, can cause symptoms very similar to those associated with panic attacks.
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