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How do breathing exercises help manage stress?

Stress is part of our lives:everyone can face it at one time or another. Evidenced by the impressive offer of drugs and food supplements that aim to reduce the symptoms. At the same time, breathing exercises are a good way to manage episodes of anxiety.

Stress:why is it harder to breathe?

Respiratory discomfort is symptomatic of a state of stress, and can be more or less pronounced depending on the level of anxiety. But why ? The explanation is rather simple, and starts from a basic observation:our body is programmed to survive . And as soon as he experiences stress, he reacts instinctively and tenses up , the muscles responsible for breathing not escaping it.

The concern is that these symptoms sometimes occur when seemingly "all is well". Besides the shortness of breath , stress is also manifested by other signs:tight throat , ball in the solar plexus, state of general fatigue, muscle tension, etc. What explains this unpleasant feeling ofloss of control .

But, far from giving in to fate, it is possible to work on the causes of anxiety, for example with psychological work guided by a professional. More often, work on the body to calm the symptoms is used to regain control of breathing , even if we can believe that he is letting us go.

How do breathing exercises help manage stress?

The importance of breathing exercises

Most exercises which aim to reduce these signs and manage anxiety aim to return to the body. They relax the muscles and make you pause to catch your breath in a conscious way.

Among these activities that teach you to "breathe better", we can therefore identify sophrology, cardiac coherence exercises , meditation , more physical activities such as yoga or even diaphragmatic breathing.

Diaphragmatic breathing

The latter consists of concentrating the breath at belly level . It is then necessary to ensure that it inflates on inspiration and widens on exhalation while relaxing as much as possible. The exercise is most effective when breathing through the nose, the most slowly possible. But how effective is it?

This exercise can be done daily with about ten minutes of practice per day . Research on diaphragmatic breathing shows that it can reduce tension in the stomach, hyperventilation and blood pressure . It also helps to better manage the signs of depression, irritable bowel syndrome or sleep problems.

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