Deep Breathing is often shared as a great coping skill by numerous healthcare professionals, so much so that when I mention it to someone I’m counseling it’s often met with an eye-roll. I get it. It’s been discussed and discussed and recommended and recommended, but I think it’s seldom explained as to why it’s helpful.
Deep Breathing is helpful because it counteracts the stress response that occurs when experiencing anxiety and high levels of stress. That stress response consists of shorter and quicker breaths, increased heart rate, and muscle tension (the sympathetic nervous system). By breathing deeply we allow for our breaths to become longer and slower, which in turn results in a slowed heart rate, and decreased muscle tension (parasympathetic nervous system).
So give deep breathing a try, it will help you take more control of your mind and emotions.