The science behind three minutes of breathing

Everyone tells you to breathe when you feel stressed and overwhelmed.

We obviously all know how to breathe and some of us know how calming deep breathing can be. But until recently, I wasn’t entirely sure what the theory behind this was. Having a preference for logic, finding more out about this has helped me connect more to my breathing practise and become even more determined to make it part of my daily routine.

Calm in three minutes

A lot of people are under a lot of stress, a lot of the time – especially at the moment – so anything, however small, you can do to make time for your wellbeing, will help. If you are going to pick one thing, try three minutes of deep breathing every day.

Many of you will think that three minutes isn’t going to do anything. But by doing this for a week, a number of things will start to happen inside your body.

The benefits for your body

Your nervous system will start to shift from the sympathetic state – where your body is preparing you to deal with danger and threat, to the parasympathetic – where your body restores itself to a state of calm.

You will reset your vagus nerve – a nerve which connects most of the major organs between the brain and the colon and is responsible for switching on your fight, flight or freeze system.

Feeling safe

As you breathe into the belly, you start to send signals to your body that you’re safe and this in turn will slow down the body’s production of the stress hormone, cortisol as well as adrenaline

The body can become addicted to these hormones so when you start to try and slow down, your body can start to fight you because it’s simply not used to being in this state. The three minute breathing practice every day starts to retrain your body and mind so it can more readily accept a state of calm.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

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