A quick and easy breathing exercise technique to reduce stress and anxiety
What is it?
Heart-focused breathing relates to the practice of imagining that you are breathing from the heart area, a practice steeped in meditation and mindulness.
How does emotional stress affect us?
Our heartbeats, even at rest, are fairly irregular and vary according to changing external and internal conditions.
When a doctor takes our pulse they take into account these irregularities by measuring the average beats per minute. A person’s average ‘Heart Rate Variation’ is an important indicator of health.
Emotional stress – such as experiencing negative emotions, like anger and anxiety – is one reason our heart rhythm patterns might increase in irregularity: Our body systems conflict and become out of sync.
One way of thinking about this is to imagine driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake.
The ride will be bumpy, you will use more petrol and it could really damage your car!
What are the benefits of heart breathing?
Although our bodies are designed to cope with intermittent bouts of stress, prolonged periods can place a real strain, with long-term, damaging effects.
On the other hand, positive emotions send completely different messages to our body.
Uplifting emotions, such as joy and love, cause our heart rhythms to become more ordered, something doctors call a coherent heart rhythm pattern. In this state, our body systems function much more efficiently and harmoniously.
Heart breathing is a quick and effective way of helping to restore equilibrium, so that our body systems can calm down and work together.
The result is that we feel better.
Try this really quick and easy heart breathing exercise technique:
Find somewhere to sit comfortably where you won’t be disturbed
Close your eyes and place your hands on your stomach
Breathe in and out, concentrating on the out-breath
Feel your abdomen expand as you breath out
When you are ready, place one hand over your heart area
Think about someone or something that fills you with joy and love
Continue to breathe in and out, as you imagine filling your heart with joy and love
Following this breathing exercise, even for five minutes, can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
If you continually feel under stress it may be time to think about tackling the cause. If you would like some help to do this find out more when you book your free consultation.