When an individual is under extreme stress, their prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that controls rational thinking) becomes impaired, making it difficult to regain calmness through logical reasoning. However, with various breathing exercises found on the VOS app, it is possible to regain some mental control and achieve calmness.
Different emotions are related to distinct breathing patterns; therefore, altering your breathing patterns can change how you feel. For instance, when experiencing happiness, your breathing will often be slow, deep, and regular. On the contrary, your breathing becomes shallow, fast, short, and irregular when you are angry and anxious. Therefore, when you follow breathing patterns associated with certain emotions, you can begin to experience those corresponding emotions.
The autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary processes such as digestion and heart rate, is divided into two parts. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for your fight-or-flight response. And the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the rest and relaxation responses.
Although both parts of the nervous system are always operating, deep breathing can help calm the sympathetic nervous system and lessen feelings of anxiety or stress.
You cannot completely turn off the sympathetic nervous system, but shifting your breathing to a slow, regulated and relaxed pattern can help turn it down.
Deep breathing exercises involve taking long, slower breaths from your stomach.
When performing this exercise, we encourage individuals to begin by turning on their sympathetic nervous system. To do this;
Noticing how your body feels during this exercise will be more effective than a person describing it to you.
Although deep breathing is simple, it is not necessarily easy. The exercise can quiet your nervous system, but it may not provide instant relief from your stress. However, the more you practice it, the more you will be able to calm yourself with it during stressful situations.