Breathwork for Stress Reduction

Everyone breaths. What’s the big deal with Breathwork? True, everyone breaths. But how we breath is indicative of how we are feeling. Agitated, stressed out people (read: everyone) breath by taking shallow, rapid breaths through their mouth. There is a good reason for this. By breathing in a shallow, rapid manner we are “blowing off” a lot of CO2. We do this because our body is anticipating generating a lot of CO2 through physical exertion, in response to whatever is agitating us. But here is a question….how often do you exert yourself physically when your pissed off? Occasionally, at best.

So we blow off a lot of CO2 and we don’t replace it through exercise. Now our body thinks we are still angry as we are in a CO2 deficit (relative to our baseline) and we continue to mouth breath, continue to take shallow and rapid breaths. This is a positive feedback loop that keeps us in a stressed out state as the tail (shallow, rapid mouth breathing) begins to wag the dog (you).

Fast forward 20 years…high blood pressure, rapid resting heart rate, poor sleep, etc.

The lesson here is that breathing is a tool that can be used to consciously decrease you blood pressure, slow your heart rate, improve your mood and just calm yourself down.

Sit in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed

Simple Breathwork Practice

-Inhale through your nose for 6 seconds

-Exhale though your nose for 6 seconds

-Repeat for 10 minutes

Moderate Breathwork Practice

-Inhale through your nose for 6 seconds

-Breath hold for 6 seconds

-Exhale through your nose for 6 seconds

-Breath hold for 6 seconds

-Repeat for 10 minutes