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  • Lauren Taveras

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Join Dr. Taveras in this brief, diaphragmatic breathing exercise, which she encourages you to incorporate into your daily routine, as well as to implement in response to moments when you may be feeling particularly emotionally dysregulated.

Although it is normal and expected to experience worry, anxiety, fear, irritability, and anger, when we experience these emotions too often and too intensely, our systems can become physiologically overridden. Diaphragmatic breathing is one of the most powerful and effective ways to bring calm to the body and mind, essentially overriding this “fight-flight-freeze” response, which is commonly activated in response to daily stressors. In addition, when the fight-flight-freeze response is activated in the brain, our prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain primarily responsible for higher order and rational thinking, planning, and decision-making—is essentially “offline.”

Diaphragmatic breathing works to engage the parasympathetic nervous system and stimulate the relaxation response in the brain and body. It counteracts the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is often over-activated by the fear center of the brain (the amygdala).

If you frequently experience symptoms like rapid heartrate, shallow and quick breathing, sweaty palms, poor emotional control, and impulsive decision making, diaphragmatic breathing may be an excellent remedy for you.

Give the exercise a try, and if you feel calmer and more centered once you’ve tried it once, we encourage you to consider incorporating it into your daily routine!

Leave a comment below to share your experience!

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