Calm Your Nervous System with Deep Breathing Exercises
Nerves, what can you say about them? They perform so many important functions in your body and are related to every movement you make and even your thought patterns.
However, nerves can really mess you up at times when they get out of control. Things such as anxiety, stress and depression can impact your nerves severely which in turn will negatively affect your entire body. When this happens you need to find a way to calm your nerves down and one of the best ways to do that is with deep breathing exercises.
Negative Breathing Patterns
Breathing patterns definitely play a role in how your nervous system reacts to the current state your body is in.
According to Calm Clinic, people that are suffering from stress and anxiety exhibit the following poor breathing issues:
- Shallow breathing – this results when you take short breaths that are often taken using your chest muscles instead of your diaphragm.
- Monitored breathing – this is when you are very aware and focused on your breathing and often times it leads to further anxiety.
- Over Breathing – this is taking in too much air. It actually causes people to believe they are not getting enough oxygen when quite the opposite is actually happening.
All of these types of breathing can lead to increased stress, anxiety, panic and further disruption of your proper nervous system functioning.
Why Deep Breaths?
Now that you know some breathing patterns that can make you more anxious and affect your nervous system in an adverse way, you need to know how to counteract that. The answer lies with deep breathing.
Deep breathing, or what is sometimes also known as “abdominal breathing”, is when you use your large diaphragm muscle near your stomach to take a breath. It tends to pull much more air into your lungs in a longer and smoother way that has a calming effect on your body and your nerves.
According to the American Institute of Stress, deep breathing impacts the body in the following positive ways:
- Your metabolism slows down
- Your heart rate decreases
- Your blood pressure is lowered
- Your breathing slows
- Your muscles relax
- Your nitric oxide levels increase – this increases blood and oxygen flow in your body
You can see from the list above that deep breathing has many benefits for your body including the calming of your nerves
Popular Deep Breathing Techniques that Will Calm Your Nerves
Here are some deep breathing exercises from some well-known websites that are authorities on stress and calming your nerves.
This is a deep breathing technique recommended by WebMD. Hand placement shows you that you are doing it correctly. If done correctly you will use up your entire lung capacity.
1. Begin with your right hand placed on your chest and the left one on your abdomen.
2. Relax your shoulders and inhale through your nose deeply.
3. Your left hand on your abdomen should rise first as you inhale. As you inhale deeper your left hand will fall slightly and your right hand will rise. This is what will give you the rolling effect this breathing exercise is named for.
4. Make a whoosh noise while exhaling. Your left hand will drop slightly and your right hand will not drop much at all.
5. Practice doing this for 3 to 5 minutes at a time. You will come to find it is very close to an instant nerve calming tool.
This is a deep breathing technique recommended by The American Institute for Stress that combines deep breathing with visualization.
1. Start by closing your eyes, smiling and releasing the tension in your shoulders.
2. Next imagine there are some holes in the bottom of each foot.
3. Inhale deeply through your nose and imagine you are sucking steam in through the holes in your feet. Visualize it as comes up your legs into your lungs.
4. Exhale out of your mouth while imagining you are pushing the steam back out of your lungs. Down through your legs and back out of the holes in your feet again.
5. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes at a time and you will notice most of the tension go out of the muscles in your body and you will rapidly calm your nerves too.
You don’t think properly or move properly when your nerves are in a bad state. So the next time you feel yourself anxious and stressed take a few minutes to yourself and try some deep breathing techniques to calm yourself and your nerves back down.