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Breathing low and slow 

Breathing is one of the fastest ways to help you balance your emotions. Learn how to do it. 

 

 

You can watch the video or keep reading. 

 

 

 

When we start worrying about our lives and everything within it, we can find ourselves short of breath.

This is because, when we worry, we can easily change our mood.

 

Our mood is like a soup … the more worry that bubbles up in the soup, the more the soup will ‘overflow’, and then the brain becomes aware that there is a problem.

 

In response, our brain speeds up our heart rate in order to literally help us to get up and fight, or run away from, the ‘threat’ of the worries we are ruminating on (‘Fight or Flight’).

 

This is similar to when we watch a scary movie or a frightening event on television … we literally ‘hold our
breath’ in anticipation of what might come next.


If we worry a lot, we will generally find ourselves breathing in a very shallow fashion.

 

But if we take a moment to breathe ‘low and slow’ – as much as feels comfortable, it can re-signal to the brain that everything is okay within the surrounding environment, and so the brain will ‘call off’ the Fight or Flight squad.

 

The more you can practice doing this, even when you feel calm and contented, the more in control your brain will feel, and the more you will learn about your own reactions to stress and worry too.

 

This is called emotion regulation.


You can do this when you wake up, as you go about your day, during treatment, or at night when you are preparing for bed.


Let’s practice now.

 

Here are the instructions.

  • Sit up straight wherever you are that is comfortable, and put your feet flat on the floor if you can.

 

  • Start breathing in slowly through your nose until you can no longer take in any more air.

 

  • Hold the breathe gently for a few seconds or for as long as you can without strain.

 

  • Then breathe all the air out through your mouth until your lungs feel empty.

 

  • Repeat this without any overexertion for 5-10 rounds.

 

While you are doing this, simply notice what is happening as you do it.

 

How does the air feel going into your nostrils?

How do your lungs feel?

What do you notice as you breathe out?

Did you hear anything?

What does the rest of your body feel like?

 

Get in the habit of just noticing your body while you breathe. 

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