Updated: Sep 27, 2019
How for granted do we take our breath?
We are completely screwed without it. We'd be dead in fact. Yet, how many times a day do you consciously breathe?
Breathing just happens right?!
Even whilst we sleep we breathe, we don't need to pay attention or consciously breathe because it just happens. This is true, but slowing down your breathing can have an amazing affect on your whole being and it is the first thing I use to help manage anxiety and stress. So I wanted to share a very simple technique that I use with you today.
The average adult breathes at 15 breaths per minute, so in order to really calm ourselves down we want to cut this by at least half. By using the 4/6/8 technique you cut your breaths to just 6 per minute, allowing a message to be sent via your vagus nerve to the brain to let you know that you are safe and all is well.
The reason for this is the effect on your ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) which is made up of two parts:
1. The Sympathetic System (SNS)
2. The Parasympathetic System. (PNS)
Essentially the Sympathetic Nervous System is your exhilarator controlling your pupil dilation, accelerating your heart beat and increasing your breath.
This is great if you need to fight something or run away.
The Parasympathetic System is your brake.
Making your pupils constrict, causing your heart rate to slow, lowering blood pressure as well as stimulating digestion and your detoxification systems.
Extending your exhalation kicks the PNS into action
So lets try to kick start our PNS right now. Follow this moving image as you breathe for 10 breaths.
Breathing in for 4 counts, hold for 6 counts and breathe out for 8 counts (breathe out for the exhale and the hold of following the gif).
How do you feel?
Calmer more balanced?
Let me know in the comments below.