Did you take any deep breaths today?

If you normally do not take deep breaths during the day, what if you knew that there is strong scientific evidence for the benefits of mindful deep breathing? Deep breathing it not only a great stress-relief remedy that has stood the test of time but we now have scientific evidence on how it activates your parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). The main job of this system is to slow down your physiological processes and calming you down. Now with this knowledge, will you try to take slow and deep breaths?

Try this breathing exercise when you feel anxious or stressed out.

Find a comfortable place to sit, on a chair or on the ground. Sit in an erect posture and bring your chest forward and your shoulders backward. Relax, close your eyes, and rest your hands on your lap. Start breathing with your abdomen, allowing it to expand when you inhale and contract when you exhale. Count to four, when you inhale and count to 6 when you exhale. Repeat this inhale/exhale process six times. Now pay attention to how you feel.

By doing this exercise, you have decreased your breathing rate by half. We breathe at an average of 15 breaths per minute. You just slowed your breathing rate to 6 breaths per minute and focused on exhalation that activated your PNSN that will calm you down.

After practicing this breathing exercise a few times, you won’t be caught up in counting and numbers. You simply get into the habit of taking slow and deep breaths.