“The breath is one of the simplest and most effective ways to work with your nervous system, which helps regulate involuntary body functions like heart and breath rate, blood pressure, digestion and the immune system. When we feel stress in our environment, our sympathetic nervous system signals the adrenal glands to release stress hormones throughout the body, causing the heart to beat faster and your breathing rate to increase, also pushing blood into your muscles – this is the body preparing to fight or flee. We can use the breath to reverse this response. As shallow, upper chest breathing is part of the typical stress response, we want to be focusing on consciously activating the diaphragm (the primary breathing muscle) in order to return to a calm state. Diaphragmatic breathing involves contraction of your diaphragm, expansion of the belly and the slowing of your inhales and exhales.” – Fini Cooper, female breath coach & founder of The Breath Way 

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