How Controlled Breathing Can Help You Deal with Even the Most Stressful Situations

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If you’ve ever experienced an incredibly stressful moment in public, you’ve likely been told to slow down and take a few deep breaths. As it turns out, the simple action of slowing down and controlling your rate of respiration is one of the most effective ways to quell your anxiety when you’re body’s fight or flight response has been triggered. While fight or flight mode is great for getting you out of a potentially dangerous situation, it can cause weight gain, high blood pressure and insomnia a long-term basis.

As this Center for Stress and Anxiety Management blog post notes, controlled breathing is so effective because it can have the effect of deactivating the fight or flight response.

Following especially stressful event, such as being cut off in traffic or experiencing a fatal computer error, using a few breathing exercises can keep you from getting locked into a fight or flight response. First, you should find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down undisturbed. Next, you should take a series of slow deep breaths that cause your stomach to rise and fall. You’ll probably find that completely random thoughts will pop up when you begin, but they will fade as you continue breathing.

Eventually, you’ll find that the adrenaline and anxiety brought upon by the stressor you encountered will be replaced with a sense of profound relaxation.

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