Today, let’s learn about the amazing power of meditative breathing, which can help you be calmer, happier, more confident and less anxious.
Through the ages, people have used slower breathing cycles to induce calmness and relaxation. What our ancestors intuitively knew to be effective is now confirmed by science. Meditative breathing produces a response that lowers your anxiety physically.
Deep breathing methods work by stimulating what is known as the nervous system. This triggers a natural response while exhaling decreases your blood pressure and slows down your heart rate. Practicing meditative breathing methods in routine, throughout the day, will lower your overall stress, in the long term.
It is important to understand that exhaling stimulates the response, so a breathing routine with longer exhales than inhales will be more effective at lowering emotional arousal. Routines, in which the exhale is the same length as the inhale while focusing on your anxious thoughts, are usually less effective at lowering the effects of anxiety. Although, this is a good form of being mindful or becoming relaxed.
For many years, I have focused on my breathing patterns.
In response, I have been able to control my reactions to my situations because I am in a more relaxed and controlled state. When I became able to control my breathing, I was less likely to become anxious and my anxiety was controllable.
When we take a breath, we take in oxygen that the body needs in order to function. This creates carbon dioxide, which is a waste resource we exhale. In a relaxed state, the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide that are involved in our breathing are balanced. This allows our body to function better.
The rate of our breathing increases during exercise to take in more oxygen. Our body uses the surplus of oxygen to motivate the muscles and then produces more carbon dioxide. The heavier we breathe, the more carbon dioxide is being released. This means the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide is maintained.
Our breathing rate also increases when we are anxious.
We tend to inhale more oxygen and exhale more carbon dioxide than usual. Since the body isn’t working harder, it uses more oxygen than normal, and so it isn’t producing a surplus of carbon dioxide. Since carbon dioxide is being released faster than it’s produced, the concentration of this gas in the blood declines.
The change in CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) can make us become light-headed, sweaty, tingly in our appendages, and uncomfortable. When our breathing returns to normal, so does the CO2, and our symptoms begin to resolve.
I personally like to relax myself by listening to some soothing classical music and focusing on the rhythms and the tranquility of the sound. Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, and Rossini are a few of my favorites that use the piano and the violin to bring a melodic symphony that calms my mind.
It also reduces the rate of my breathing depending on what symphony I am listening to. There are a few that are attuned to excitement such as Symphony #5 by Beethoven that could cause your breathing to increase depending on your level of meditation.
We would all like to be able to control how we feel in every situation, and learning how to breathe in those particular moments can help you take control. You no longer become victim to your mind’s racing thoughts or your anxiety.
Think more often about how you breathe, be mindful of your breathing patterns. And most importantly, learn to use the power of deep meditative breathing to beat anxiety and stress. It can change your life in more ways than you think.