Sometimes, the solution to most stressful things in life is taking a deep breath and calming one’s nerves. It’s not just but also Shweta Kawaatra who abides by the same. “Stop. Drop. Breathe.” she wrote on Instagram.
According to the actor, we end up practising shallow breathing in stressful situations. “In my experience, I realised the ability to take stress, feel anxious, and even [have] panic attacks are more related to shallow breathing than the situation,” she wrote.
She urged her followers to try the same. But how? “When you are stressed or deeply focusing on something, observe your breath. It will be shallow. Just breathe in slow and deep.”
Shweta shared that she is consciously trying to train her mind to breathe slowly and deeply, especially when she is feeling affected by stress. “I just stop, drop, and breathe and voila! Try it for yourself. Let me know if you feel different,” she concluded.
Dr Siddhartha Mani, consultant, adult cardiology, NH RN Tagore Hospital, Kolkata shared that deep breaths are a natural response to stress. “Many times, we take deep breaths after periods of sudden exertion (both mental and physical). However, we are often unaware of the beneficial responses in our heart and brain provided by this practice of deep breaths,” he said.
He explained that whenever there is a stressful situation, our body reacts to that by fight and flight response by increasing stress hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure as a response. “This can be harmful for the heart and in vulnerable patients, may trigger heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia, brain stroke, and even haemorrhage,” the expert said.
According to Dr Mani, taking deep breaths helps to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, thereby reducing the deleterious effects. He mentioned that deep breaths also help reduce stress hormones, promoting the calmness of the body and the mind.
“Moreover, deep breaths facilitate oxygen exchange in the lungs and thus, increase oxygen delivery to the brain. It helps to improve mindfulness, attention and reduce anxiety. It also helps reduce muscle tension and spasms. Thus, regular practise of deep breathing helps our body and mind in multiple beneficial ways and helps to combat stressful situations without producing harmful effects,” he concluded.