Try this deep breathing technique to restore balance and calm.

May 2, 2023

Discover the Wellness Benefits of Coherent Breathing |
Try this deep breathing technique to restore balance and calm.

Coherent breathing is a form of deep breathing, made up of taking long slow breaths at a rate of about five per minute, that has been shown to reduce stress and restore calm and balance. According to Verywellmind, the transformative power of coherent breathing is its ability to impact the autonomic nervous system.  

How does coherent breathing work
The New York Times reports that by making the conscious choice to alter your breathing you are commanding your brain to make adjustments to the subconscious parasympathetic area of your nervous system that promotes calm and slows down your heart rate and digestion and to the sympathetic system that releases stress hormones including cortisol.

Dr. Richard Brown, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and co-author of “The Healing Power of the Breath” claims that stress often serves as a trigger for many conditions including anxiety and depression. 

Based on his clinical experience, he believes that coherent breathing can be a powerful tool to help people who have been triggered by stress to regain control. “I have seen patients transformed by adopting regular breathing practices. When you take slow, steady breaths, your brain gets the message that all is well and activates the parasympathetic response. When you take shallow rapid breaths or hold your breath, the sympathetic response is activated,” Dr. Brown told the New York Times.  

Ready set…slow down your breathing
If you would like to give coherent breathing a try, Verywellmind outlines the following steps to help you get started. Begin by focusing on your natural breaths and count the length of your inhales and exhales. In a comfortable position, place a hand on your stomach to make sure you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm, and breathe in for four seconds and out for four seconds for the duration of one minute. Repeat the breathing, but this time extend your inhales and exhales to five seconds and then extend again to six seconds. The aim is to breathe rhythmically for five minutes, with practice, some people are able to extend their breathwork to up to twenty minutes. 

Benefits of slow rhythmic breathing
According to Embodied living the benefits of adopting a consistent and regular coherent breathing practice are many and they can greatly improve the quality of your life. Coherent breathing can reduce pain,boost energy levels, help you to sleep better, lower blood pressure, improve decision making and vitality and can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Verywellmind reports that you can easily find support if you are finding it difficult to master coherent breathing on your own. You can join a yoga class that has a breathwork component, or attend a breathing workshop where you will get real time instruction to help master the technique.  You can also download one of many apps or watch a video to guide you through the correct lengths of inhaling and exhaling. 

However you decide to go about it, adopting a coherent breathing practice could be the solution to many maladies and can help you to live in a restored state of calm and wellbeing. 

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