Deep breathing exercises can be helpful for calming anxiety. It works by inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response and activating the parasympathetic nervous system’s rest-and-relax response.
It can also help lower blood pressure, increase hydration and improve digestion. However, it’s important to remember that this technique is not an instant fix for anxiety.
1. It can lead to hypertension
Deep breathing can reduce your blood pressure by bringing in more oxygen and relaxing the heart. However, it can also lead to high blood pressure in people with certain health conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema Breath Exercise. This is because shallow breathing limits the diaphragm’s full range of motion, which prevents the lower part of the lungs from getting a full share of oxygenated air.
Practicing deep breathing daily helps slow down your heart rate and blood pressure. It can also help you relax and calm your mind. It also triggers the release of endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that make you feel good and fight pain.
Although the effects of deep breathing are short-term, it can help you manage stress and anxiety, which contributes to high blood pressure. It is important to talk with your doctor before trying a new exercise or meditation practice.
2. It can lead to anxiety
One of the most common benefits of deep breathing is that it decreases stress and anxiety. This is because the process helps to slow your heart rate and calms the brain. In addition, it can also help to relieve pain by triggering the release of endorphins.
Your body’s automatic nervous system, which controls involuntary actions like heart rate and digestion, is split into two parts—the sympathetic nervous system, which controls your fight-or-flight response, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes rest-and-relaxation. While it is impossible to turn the sympathetic nervous system off, focusing on slower and deeper breaths from your stomach can help you feel calmer and more in control.
The practice of breathing deeply can also strengthen the major organs in your body, including your lungs and heart. This improves your circulation, which can lead to a lower heart rate and reduced blood pressure.
3. It can lead to insomnia
Unlike shallow, rapid breathing, deep breaths help your lungs fill with oxygen. This makes your blood healthier and helps ward off infection-causing germs. Deep breathing is a simple, free-and-easy health tool that has been used in ancient practices such as yoga, tai chi and qi gong.
In the context of anxiety, a slow-breathing exercise can be effective at calming the body and inducing a relaxation response. The practice of slow breathing also promotes the production of melatonin, an essential sleep-inducing hormone (102).
However, it is important to remember that anxiety can be complex and should be treated by a qualified mental health professional. In addition, it is important to be aware that while a short session of slow breathing may be helpful in relieving mild anxiety symptoms, regular practice can lead to a decrease in the occurrence of anxiety recurrences.
4. It can lead to a sluggish lymphatic system
The autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary actions like heart rate and digestion, has two parts-the sympathetic nervous system (which triggers the fight or flight response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (which promotes the rest-and-relax response). Deep breathing tricks your body into turning down the volume on the sympathetic nervous system, which helps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
This is because shallow breathing, or chest breaths, don’t allow your lungs to get full oxygenation, while deep breathing from the diaphragm encourages proper oxygen exchange.
Slow, deep breathing has also been shown to increase baroreceptor inhibition of chemoreceptors, which leads to decreased sympathetic tone and increased vasodilation and can help to lower blood pressure. It also boosts lymph flow, which makes it harder for diseases to thrive in the body.
5. It can lead to acidity
We’ve all heard the old cliche, “just take a deep breath,” in a moment of stress or anxiety. But it turns out there’s some serious science behind this simple hack. Deep breathing slows the heart rate, allows more oxygen to enter the bloodstream and signals the brain to relax. It also balances hormones, lowering down cortisol and upping endorphins to calm the nervous system.
A primary care physician can give good recommendations for different breathing techniques to try. Those with respiratory conditions should see a pulmonologist or asthma specialist.
A strong and healthy LES keeps harsh stomach acid where it belongs in the stomach, but with excessive or overly strenuous deep breathing, the muscle may weaken, and acid from the stomach can splash into the esophagus, leading to heartburn.