The importance of deep breathing

Did you know that restrictive breathing (having difficulties filling your entire lungs with air) can be an indication of suppressed emotions?

While I was going through some of the darkest times in life, somebody pointed out to me that I was breathing very shallowly.

Up until that point, I had never noticed this, but he was right.

In that state of intense stress, I was physically incapable of filling my entire lungs with air. It was a coping mechanism I had resorted to since my early childhood. And only after I had understood and resolved the underlying emotional triggers was I able to breath normally and deeply again. Yet for a while it felt completely unnatural and was physically painful for me to re-learn how to breath properly.

Even these days, when I am in a stressful situation, I notice how my breathing gets shallow, how my brain still defaults back to its old stress coping mechanism. But now that I am aware of this pattern and can counteract it.

Why would that be important?

Because taking deep breaths is one of the most effective ways to calm our nervous systems in order to think more clearly and make better decisions. Plus, it also slows your heart rate, relieves pain, supports the detoxification of the body and lowers blood pressure.

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